Closed roads, large crowds at the start and finish and in all the villages throughout the route, a mostly flat but very scenic course and excellent organisation at the start and finish are just some of the reasons why, last year, the readers of Runners World voted the Chester Marathon the best in the UK. This year there was the additional bonus of some excellent weather. Temperatures rising to 19 degrees throughout the morning made the aid stations every 3 miles a welcome sight for Richard and Dawn Collyer who joined 3000 other runners on the start line. In their first ever marathon Richard and Dawn ran together and had enough energy left for a sprint finish to complete the course in the same time of 4:29:21. Richard came away with a lovely red head and shoulders (suntan lotion in October in the north west was not even considered) and Dawn came away with the club under 35 age group marathon record.