Nottingham

Thousands compete in Nottingham half marathon

More than 8,000 runners have taken part in the Robin Hood Ikano half-marathon race in Nottingham.

Kenyan Luka Rotich, 28, won the men's race in a time of 1hr 1.39mins, a personal best time.

Fellow Kenyan Agnes Jerupo was the winner in the women's race in a time of 1hr 13.35mins.

The event, which is its 32nd year and began in the rain, saw Phil Hogg secure victory in the wheelchair race with a time of 55mins 11secs.

Police had urged motorists to avoid the city centre as the race is being followed by a derby match between Nottingham Forest and Derby County.

Olympics inspiration

After his victory, Rotich said: "It was rainy at first but it stopped - I was very happy with the result."

Kenyan Andrew Lesuuda was second in the men's race with fellow Kenyan John Kales in third.

Nick Pearson, race organiser, said: "We've seen a real increase in participation in the run-up to the Olympics.

"The amount of people that have entered since the middle of August has been unprecedented and this is the largest number of people we have had in the half-marathon for four or five years," he added.

The runners began at the Victoria Embankment and followed the 13.1-mile course through the grounds of Nottingham University.

More than 40,000 people were expected to attend the two sporting events.

Race organisers had predicted faster times on the new course, which is set along a flatter route than the old one.

For the first time, the event did not include a full marathon after problems were encountered with trams works and increased traffic along parts of the route.

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