Flagship event for Stamford club with 750 entries
There will be a different winner at this year's Stamford Striders St Valentine’s 30k race which takes place on Sunday.
Aaron Scott - who has won the club's flagship event for the past five years and is the current course record holder - is not taking part in this year's race.
Scott, who stormed to victory in 1hr 40mins 47secs last year, is away on honeymoon meaning his five-year dominance of the event of will be ended.
The full field of 750 runners will be competing at the 26th staging of the popular annual event which is run each year on the Sunday closest to St Valentine's Day .
It is recognised nationally as a tough event, providing a good training run for those planning a spring marathon.
Race director Mark Alderson said: “It is always a very popular event which is famous for the enthusiastic marshals and efficient organisation across the board.
“This is a runners' race, organised for runners by runners – we know what they want and how they want it.”
Starting and finishing at Stamford's Welland Academy, the course winds its way through Little Casterton, Tolethorpe, Ryhall, Careby, Pickworth and Great Casterton on a challenging rural undulating route.
Alderson added: “What better way can there be to show your love than to run 18 miles through Lincolnshire and Rutland on a freezing February morning?
“Everyone taking part gets a generous goody bag that includes an event T-shirt and a packet of now legendary Love Hearts.
“This is a very popular race - it has worked its way up to ninth in the Runners World list of 100 top UK races from feedback from entrants and the race entry limit of 750 runners is always reached.”
Besides the normal prizes for first and second place, there are also accolades for age and team categories and £100 for beating course records.
There will also be temporary road closures across the town due to the event.
The race starts and finishes at Welland Academy with traffic being affected for the first 5K of the race up to and including Salters Lane, and onto Ryhall Road.
Closures will be enforced and roads reopened on a sweeping basis as the last runner passes through at various points from the start at the junction of Churchill Road and Green Lane outside of Welland Academy where the road will be closed at 10.45am to allow time to erect the start gantry.
The race follows through (with closures effecting) Charles Road, Edinburgh Road, and down Cambridge Road, turning right into Little Casterton Road and leaving Stamford through Little Casterton, turning left into Salters Lane.
A Stop Go system will operate from 11.10am at the junction of Little Casterton Road / Tollbar, Little Casterton.
Salters Lane through Tolethorpe will remain closed for the duration of the event from 11am to 2.45pm.
Ryhall Road (from Great Casterton to Ryhall village) will be closed with diversions in place between 11am to12pm, providing complete safety for runners (and other road users) as they pass through Tolethorpe and exit Salters turning right onto Ryhall Road.
On the return stretch from Great Casteron runners will remain on the left hand side of the road along Ryhall Road until the junction at Salters Lane into Tolethorpe where a Stop Go system will be enforced from approximately 1.15pm until the last runner has ran through homeward bound.
Maximum speed signs of 20mph will be enforced across these areas.
Lincolnshire Police will be in attendance to help ensure that the road closures are observed and should emergency services need to access these areas, road closures will be removed immediately.
Traffic Management Stewards and Striders Marshals will be at the road closure points and at junctions in the area.