Russell Howard, one of the best-selling acts in British stand-up and host of the smash hit TV show Russell Howard’s Good News, is lacing up his running shoes again for the Vitality Bath Half Marathon on 13th March.
The 35-year-old West Country born comedian and actor is bringing the Howard clan with him as part of his ongoing support for the ‘Time Is Precious’ charity.
Such is the popularity of the Vitality Bath Half Marathon, first staged in 1982, there’s now no chance for new entrants to rub shoulders with the world famous star in his home city with all entries sold out several weeks ago.
But spectators can still enjoy celebrity spotting as a 15,000 strong field makes its way round the flat, fast and scenic 13.1 miles route which straddles both sides of the River Avon.
Howard, who has already announced dates for his 2017 ‘Round The World, Biggest Ever Live Tour,’ clocked a respectable 1 hour, 44 minutes in 2015.
As one of the patrons of ‘Time Is Precious’, a charity set-up in memory of a local five-year-old boy who lost his brave cancer battle in 2010, Howard certainly won’t lack support.
Joining him on race day will be sister Kerry, her twin brother, Daniel, three cousins plus dad David and mum Ninette who are raising money for breast cancer awareness charity, Coppafeel!.
Kerry, who celebrates her 34th birthday in March, is also a familiar face to TV viewers. She starred in a BBC comedy, Him and Her, and acted alongside Russell last year in a one-hour comedy drama, a Gert Lush Christmas, on BBC 2.
Actor Will Thorp is a familiar face in Bath and will once more run the Vitality Bath Half Marathon for Time is Precious.
Radio and TV presenter Greg James, a Coppafeel! patron, has also pledged to run in Bath. But don’t expect any personal bests from the popular 30-year-old broadcaster.
Greg recently completed his ultra gruelling Radio One Gregathon for Sports Relief. Or, put another way, five triathlons in five different cities in five days.
Despite sore legs and feet, he’s determined to make the start line.
Bath wouldn’t be Bath without rugby. So, expect to see Vitality Bath Half Marathon regular, Lewis Moody, taking to the streets again.
This year the former England international and British Lion, 37, will run for the Brain Tumour Charity. Moody, a member of England’s 2003 World Cup winning squad and former Leicester Tiger, previously raised funds for Time Is Precious.
Still on the 15-a-side theme, politician Ben Howlett, the first Bath MP to compete in the city’s award-winning mass participation event, will run for the Bath Rugby Foundation.
Taking on a sporting challenge of a different nature is multi-capped England Netball international and Team Bath favourite, Eboni Beckford-Chambers.
A World Cup bronze medal winner in 2015 and a former Bristol University graduate, Beckford-Chambers, 28, will run for Cancer Research UK.
Comedians Rob Deering and Paul Tonkinson are tackling next month’s Virgin Money London Marathon and, as part of their training will divert to Somerset for the Bath Half, running for the Parkinson’s UK charity.
Other celebrities to tick off as they go past include actor and singer CJ de Mooi and BBC TV Watchdog presenter Sophie Raworth.
Chrissie Wellington OBE, former professional triathlete, four-time Ironman Triathlon World Champion and Brooks Sports Ambassador, will also be on the start line.
The Vitality Bath Half Marathon is one of the most iconic and longest established races on the UK running calendar.
It sees 15,000 participants run through the heart of Bath raising money for over 120 official charity partners.
All half marathon entries for this year’s race on Sunday 13th March 2016 are sold out.
Entries for the 2017 Vitality Bath Half Marathon will open on Monday 14th March 2016.