THE Southend Half Marathon will take place at Shoebury East Beach despite it being closed.

The beach will remain closed until early next month after artillery and mortar shells were discovered at the end of last month.

But the grass area above the beach, where the run starts and finishes, remains open and the event will take place as planned on Sunday, June 8.

Havens Hospices, which organises the race to raise funds, has been working with Southend Council to look at alternative venues, but officials have insisted runners and spectators face minimal risks.

Judy Grocott, events manager for Havens Hospices, said: “We have taken our time to look at all the options open to us and would like to thank Southend Council for its advice and support.

“Now the decision has been made to keep the event at Shoebury East Beach, we will be contacting all the runners via email and their packs are being sent out this week.

“We are committed to delivering a safe and successful event.”

More than 2,500 people have signed up to take part in the main race, with hundreds expected to take part in a 3km fun run on the same day.

Entrance to the halfmarathon costs £23 for affiliated and £25 for non-affiliated runners and entrance to the fun run costs £5 for anyone.

People interested in helping to marshal the race, can email Judy on jgrocott@havenshospices.