WILTSHIRE champion Simon Nott has been forced to withdraw from the Bath half marathon on Sunday.

The Calne Running Club athlete had intended to line up for the race, one of the biggest in the West Country, for the first time and on his recent form would have been among the front-runners.

“Simon was training for Bath and was doing extremely well but has picked up an injury so has had to pull out,” said his wife and coach Denise Nott.

Fortunately that is a rare setback for Nott who had a brilliant 2019 and established himself as Wiltshire’s premier distance runner, winning numerous country titles and hopefully he will be back in action soon.

In his absence Calne teammate Mike Gilbert will be looking to follow up his personal best in the Speedway 10k in January and go sub 80 minutes for the first time.

If he does that it should put Gilbert, who is also coached by Denise Nott, among the leading veterans in the over-40s category.

With Bradford on Avon’s Alex Carter ruled out with a broken arm and Biddestone-based Aidan Daniel giving the race a miss after a long and successful cross country season, the race to finish first Wiltshire runner looks wide open this year.

From Team Bath veteran Gary Dunston, who lives in Chippenham, is expected to do well as is Marshfield’s Themis Bower.

“Overall, I am hoping for a Team Bath entry of over 35 athletes which will be excellent so here’s to a great day of running,” said club endurance coach Paul King.