Chester Half Marathon Breaks Records

runIn bothersome climes and scorching sunlight, people from all over came to take part in one of the most successful Chester Marathon’s to date this weekend.

May 18th saw thousands of entrants into one of the North’s most popular endurance events with the 7000 strong attendees set a new record for entrants in the process. After 33 years of competition and many more miles ran, it’s another great accomplishment for this beloved event.

One of the hottest days of the year so far brought with plenty of athletes and amateur runners all eager to beat their personal bests or to take part in a charity run. One such professional athlete was Kenyan born Mohammed Abu-Rezeq, winner of last year’s contest who won this 2014’s edition and shaved a few minutes off his previous time.

“I led the race from start to finish and found it pretty comfortable as I’m familiar with the route after winning last year,“ he said.

“The weather was really warm, but the wind helped me get round in good time. This was the best time I’ve ever done in a UK race, and I’ll be back again next year to try to beat it again.”

Gemma Connolly of Runcorn completed the marathon as the first female to cross the line.

Charity runners were out in force and what a great effort they put in to raise money for worthwhile causes. Alder Hey Hospital, the Hospice of the Good Shepherd, Claire House Children’s Hospice, Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support were all represented at this year’s contest.

The 13.1 mile course however, didn’t come without its difficulties. In total, it’s estimated that 100 runners had to bow out thanks to the effects of the heat which reached 23C. Nobody was seriously harmed which was helped by the superb organisation of Active Events Leisure.

The full Chester Marathon returns this year on the 5th of October. If you missed the opportunity to enter the half-marathon, the full edition has spaces left but be sure to act fast to avoid disappointment.

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Baby Komodo Dragons Arrive at Chester Zoo

The Komodo DragonAs one of the best places for animals of all shapes and sizes to be conserved, protected and cared for, it should come as no surprise that Chester Zoo has jumped at the chance to take responsibility for three new baby Komodo dragons this month!

Each are just three month old females and can currently fit into the palm of your hand – quite the difference from their full-grown stage as adults! Komodo dragons are the largest lizards on the planet and are notorious for being fearsome predators so you’d expect the zookeepers to be appreciating the cuteness while it still lasts.

Originating from Colchester, the dragons will have to have constant care fed at least every four days so they grow into their full, formidable size. Komodo’s can live for up to 30 years with Jantan and Ora, current residents at Chester Zoo, being adults with a few years under their belts.

Dr Gerardo Garcia of Chester Zoo said: “Our feisty new trio may be small at the moment but they’ll soon grow into impressive young ladies.

“With them being just a few months old they are fed every four days, unlike our older dragons who currently feed every month. It’s really important that our keepers get to work closely with dragons of different ages as they are very, very different. The intensive care they give to these animals and all of the skills they learn working with them here, can be transferred to the field and could be crucial in terms of protecting them in the wild.”

This is just another step in the zoo’s initiative to raise the conservation profile for Komodo dragons. On the Indonesian isle of Flores, these magnificent animals are currently at an endangered status. By highlighting how important the dragons are to the local environment with security measures implemented to be maintained by the local people, Chester Zoo are doing more than most to preserve the future of these legendary lizards.

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