CHESTER Marathon organisers have reassured the thousands of runners taking part in this Sunday's marathon and metric marathon events the races will go ahead, despite torrential downpours saturating Chester Racecourse.

The racecourse was originally planned to be the start and finish point for both races, but due to flooding on the grounds, organisers have announced a couple of tweaks to the route ensuring everyone can still go the full distance.

Explaining the decision, organisers said: "We have had to make this decision now, as building the race infrastructure takes several days and it simply would not have been safe for us to do so [later].

"We hope you agree that making some minor changes now rather than cancelling the event is the best way to proceed."

They have also stressed there will now be no parking available at Chester Racecourse on the day, with entrants advised to use one of the other city centre car parks.

Both races will now start from Nuns Road – the full marathon at 9am and the metric marathon at 10.15am – heading left on to New Crane Street and following the rest of the route as normal.

The routes will now finish on Castle Drive, alongside the city walls, and to make up for the slight shortfall in distance at the end, runners will go through a small detour through Grosvenor Park before heading down Dee Lane.

Organisers told runners: "The new start and finish areas mean that the whole route is now on hard surfaces (no grass) so whatever the weather throws at us on race day, your trainers should be clean, even if they aren’t dry!"

The Mini Marathon will still take place at Chester Racecourse, but on a smaller 700-metre fully tarmac route.

A spokesperson added: "Thank you to all the organisations who have worked with us to make all the short notice changes to enable the event to go ahead: Cheshire Police, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cheshire Highways, Chester Racecourse and of course our 700 amazing volunteers."