THOUSANDS of runners raising cash for charity will fill Southend seafront today as the city’s half marathon returns. 

Kicking off this morning, runners from across the county will run along the seafront as they take on the 13.1mile challenge. 

The annual half marathon raises cash for Havens hospices, supporting the charity’s work helping people living with incurable conditions. 

Roughly 2,700 runners are booked in to take on the race with everyone’s entry fee being donated to the hospice charity. 

The route is made up of two laps, starting and finishing at East Beach, Shoebury. 

Runners will start off by looping through the Garrison in Shoebury before picking up the seafront route along to Sealife Adventure and then back. 

A number of road closures will be in place during the event and drivers are being advised to take diversions throughout today. 

  • George Street (in its entirety) – From 7am to 1:30pm.
  • Rampart Terrace (in its entirety) – From 7am to 1:30pm.
  • Rampart Street (in its entirety) – From 7am to 1:30pm.
  • High Street, Shoebury (in its entirety) – From 8.45am to 9.30am.
  • Smith Street/Campfield Road (High Street to Ness Road) – From 8.45am to 9.45am.
  • All road within the Garrison (except Barge Pier Road) – From 8.45am to 10am.
  • Ness Road/Shoebury Common Road and Thorpe Esplanade/Eastern Esplanade (From south of Linton Road to Beach Road) – From 8.45am to 12pm.
  • Maplin Way (from Thorpe Esplanade to Church Road) – From 8.45am to 12pm.
  • Church Road (in its entirety) – From 8.45am to 12pm.
  • New Barge Pier Road (south of Magazine Road) – From 8.45am to 12pm.

Ahead of the event, Lucy Lock, community engagement manager at Havens hospices, said: “We are really looking forward to cheering on around 2,700 runners at the Southend Half Marathon this Sunday.

“On behalf of Havens hospices, I would like to thank everyone who supports this event: the runners, all their friends and family who come and cheer, the volunteers who give up their time to make sure the event runs as smoothly as possible, and, of course, the fantastic residents and business owners along the route who allow us to run through their streets.

“It is thanks to the support from the community that we’re able to continue providing specialist care and support to local people who have been given the devastating news of an incurable condition.”

Due to phenomenal demand this year, participants will be unable to sign up on the day as the event has now sold out.