MORE than 2,000 runners are gearing up for this year’s Southend half marathon.

Fundraisers will pound the pavements on Sunday in aid of Havens Hospices.

Among them will be the Dan Knight Warriors, who will in support of a 39-year-old man described as “an absolute legend.”

The group of 11, including Mr Knight's wife, have already raised over £1,500 for Fair Havens, in Chalkwell, where he goes every Tuesday for respite care.

In 2012, after losing his peripheral vision, experiencing excruciating headaches, collapsing and being sick, the father-of -two, from Leigh, was diagnosed with a brain tumour and told he had no more than two years to live.

Mrs Knight, 41, who arranged for her husband to see a private neurologist before a big family holiday, said: "With my hand on my heart I told them I thought there was something seriously wrong, and I didn’t think he was fit for flying so the consultant agreed to do an MRI scan the next day.”

The 13.1 mile run will begin and end at Shoebury East Beach.

For the first time, wheelchair users will also be able to take part in this year's event, with spaces still available.

Havens Hospices events manager, Judy Grocott, said: “We are overwhelmed every year by how many people take part in the Southend Half Marathon and raise thousands for Havens Hospices. Due to this demand we have decided to open the course to wheelchair users as well.

“Havens Hospices incorporates Fair Havens for adults and Little Havens for children and we provide respite, symptom management and end of life care for those with life limiting conditions."

In preparation for the event, a series of road closures will be in place.

George Street, Rampart Terrace and Rampart Street will be shut to traffic between 7.30am and 2pm.

The rolling closures will hit Shoebury High Street, Smith Street, Campfield Road and all roads within the Garrison development between 9.15am and 10.15am.

Ness Road, Shoebury Common Road, Thorpe Esplanade, Eastern Esplanade, Maplin Way, Church Road and New Barge Pier Road will be shut between 9.15am and 12.30pm.