MORE than 1,000 athletes are set to be pounding the pavement when they compete in the annual Southend 10k this weekend.

The event, which is set to get underway at Lifstan Way on Sunday, will see the competitors run along Southend seafront and also through parts of Gunners Park.

And race director Mathew Gillard cannot wait for the event to start.

Gillard said: “The Southend 10k is one of the largest and long-standing 10k road races in the area and the largest that takes part on a fully road closed course.

“Having always been staged on the first Sunday in October, we are proud to say that this year will be the 34th running of the event which, over the years, has benefited from a well-supported seafront course often blessed with favourable weather conditions for runners and supporters alike.

“I have been a member of Southend Athletics Club for over 10 years and this year will be my fourth as race director.

“Over the last few years, we made a number of significant changes to the event, not least the decision to move HQ across to the other side of Lifstan Way and into Southchurch Park East, which I believe has proved to be an ideal new home.”

The 10k will start at 10am, while the children’s 3k race is scheduled to get underway five minutes later.

The Southend 10k will, once again, be raising funds for Havens Hospices.