ORGANISERS of the Santa Fun Run say it is now Marlow's second biggest event after the town regatta.

The now annual race will feature a record 1,700 runners on Sunday morning.

Sir Steve Redgrave will fire the starters pistol and 'Mad Lizzie' of TV fame will get participants warmed up.

Lance Slater, event spokesman, said: "This number of runners is another record achieved. Last year it was about 1,400.

"Sadly we have to say no to some last minute applications because we think it's sensible to have a reasonable total."

Marlow Bridge and the High Street will be shut for a period around 10am whilst it takes place.

Mr Slater said: "We apologise for any disruption to people's journeys but it's just once a year for a great charity.

"It's the second biggest event after the regatta now.

"We want to encourage people to come and watch, it's now quite a spectacle."

One runner will be Marlow Mayor Jocelyn Towns, who was getting ready this week.

She claimed to be the 'unfittest person I know' before starting her training programme and said it has been 'horrid' putting in the hours to prepare.

She said: "I haven’t yet been bitten by the running bug that everyone said I would be, maybe that will happen on Sunday.

"Up until now I didn’t do keep fit, but I have put some time and effort into some training for this run as I couldn’t do it from a standing still position.

"I don’t run quickly but it is my intention to run the entire route." She is appealing for more sponsors to come forward and back her by visiting the Marlow Town Council website.

The run is organised by The Rotary Club of Marlow and Marlow Thames Rotary Club. Guide Dogs for the Blind will be the main beneficiary.