Ipswich: Runners get set for Ipswich Half Marathon

A RECORD number of entries will don their trainers on Sunday for this year’s Ipswich Half Marathon.

More than 1,500 runners have signed up to take part in the race which has been jointly organised by Ipswich Borough Council and Ipswich JAFFA Running Club.

Councillor Bryony Rudkin, borough council portfolio holder for culture and leisure, said: “The Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon has developed into one of the top events in the region’s sporting calendar.

“This year it is also part of our London 2012 legacy and part of what we are doing to encourage more people to take up or return to sport and improve fitness levels among people of all ages.”

Organisers are hoping that hundreds of people will turn out to support the competitors on the 13.1-mile course, which snakes through the town centre and Christchurch Park.

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The race, sponsored by chartered accountants Larking Gowen, starts at 9am from Northgate Sports Centre.

The NSPCC is the chosen charity for the 2012 race and volunteers will be out in force to support the organisers on the day and holding a collection before and after the race.

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Christian Morris, of the NSPCC, said: “We wish all those taking part the best of luck.

“All the runners have been asked to support the local NSPCC service centre with sponsorship so we hope as many people as possible will come down to watch the race and cheer the runners on.

“It is going to be a big event for the town and we are really excited to be a part of it.”

A family fun run will start shortly after the main race while the prizegiving will take place in the central arena at 11am.

Luke Morris, partner at Larking Gowen, said: “Everybody involved with this race is absolutely delighted with the numbers entered this year.

“Building on the success of the last three years, it is wonderful to see how well this is being supported by not only local runners but also by runners from neighbouring counties, both seasoned and novice.”

Terry Back, race director from JAFFA Running Club, added: “JAFFA are absolutely delighted with the amount of entries received this year and are looking forward to the day being a great success.

“With the support of Ipswich Borough Council and Larking Gowen this race will continue to improve in size and stature in 2013 and beyond.”

AFTER facing the horror of losing her 11-day-old baby boy, Sam Chambers wanted to help other grieving parents.

Six years ago tiny Clark was born premature and diagnosed with a heart condition.

Eleven days after he was born on March, 27, 2006 the tot passed away.

Today Mrs Chambers is preparing for her first half marathon to raise money for SANDS (Still born and Neonatal Death Society).

The 33-year-old of Maidenhall Approach, told The Star: “I just can’t describe what it is to lose a child.

“I think about him everyday, even now. I just remember the feeling of ‘why can’t I take my baby home’?”

Two years ago Mrs Chambers’ brother Matthew Walters and his wife Kathryn, who live in Cornwall, lost a baby at six weeks.

And then last year the couple lost a baby girl, May Rose who was born still born.

Mrs Chambers added: “This is about helping other parents. I wouldn’t want anyone to go through what we have.

“SANDS really helped my brother and his wife and so seemed the right charity to help.”

To donate to Mrs Chambers’ cause visit www.justgiving. com/samatha-chambers1

Visit www.ipswichhalfmarathon.co.uk for more details.

Send your photos to us via www.iwitness24.co.uk

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