Galleries: Half marathon race provides great spectacle for town

The Ipswich Half Marathon
First to finish Blair McWhirter get a medal from Ipswich Mayor Hamil Clar

The Ipswich Half Marathon First to finish Blair McWhirter get a medal from Ipswich Mayor Hamil Clarke

Hundreds of runners took part in the annual Ipswich half marathon today – providing some great racing and an excellent spectacle for the town.

Organisers were delighted with the success of the new route, which gave entrants some testing conditions as they pounded the undulating 13.1-mile course through the town centre streets and around Christchurch Park.

Despite the early mist and cool start to the day, many spectators turned out to cheer on the runners – giving them great encouragement and spurring them on to the finish line.

The event – sponsored by chartered accountants and business advisors Larking Gowen, and organised by Ipswich Borough Council and Ipswich JAFFA running club – was started by Olympic silver medallist and sports commentator Colin Jackson.

More than 1,500 runners took part, helping to raise money for the two supporting charities, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) and St Elizabeth Hospice.

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Terry Back, race director for Jaffa Running Club, said it had been a fantastic day.

He said: “The race committee are delighted with the success of the new route and would like to thank all the athletes and volunteers for making the 2013 race so successful.

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“JAFFA is already looking forward to an even bigger and better race in 2014.”

Overall winner was Blair McWhirter, from Essex, while Bradley Wattleworth, of Grundisburgh, beat the 2013 UK record for his class, making him the fastest 17-year-old running a half marathon this year.

The teenager, a student at Farlingaye Sixth Form College, set a new record of 78mins16sec, coming in fifth overall.

• See tomorrow’s paper for a four-page special on the event.

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