THOUSANDS of runners are taking to the streets of Colchester today for the return of the Griffin Chapman Colchester Half Marathon.

About 4,000 runners signed up to the sold-out race which is set to raise thousands of pounds for MS-UK and Headway Essex.

The runners and their friends and families were arriving bright and early at the Jobserve Community Stadium this morning to warm up and have group pictures before the start of the race.

The 13-mile race kicked off at 9am from the stadium and follows the same route as previous years.

The route is: Boxted Road, Nayland Road, Mile End Road, North Station roundabout, North Station Road, North Hill, High Street, East Hill, East Street, Ipswich Road, Severalls Lane, Wyncolls Road, Newcomen Way, The Crescent, Severalls Lane, Langham Road, Langham Lane and into Langham.

A rolling road closure will be in operation throughout the route.

It will end by 12.20pm back at the stadium.

An eight supplement featuring dozens of event photographs will be in tomorrow's Daily Gazette and on our website tomorrow morning.

Stay with us for updates and the results on the event.