Records tumble at town’s popular running festival

The event featured a variety of distances including marathon and half marathon Picture: HAVERSPORTS

The event featured a variety of distances including marathon and half marathon Picture: HAVERSPORTS - Credit: Archant

Course records tumbled at Haverhill’s running festival at the weekend as more than 400 athletes took on a variety of distance races around the town.

Participants in the Haverhill Runs Festival Picture: HAVERSPORTS

Participants in the Haverhill Runs Festival Picture: HAVERSPORTS - Credit: Archant

A total of 411 runners completed their race of choice at Haverhill Runs – The Phoenix Events East Running Festival 2019 was held at the town’s leisure centre on Sunday, April 7.

Raising money for Haverhill Town Pastors, the sixth year of the popular event saw entrants choose from either the 26.2-mile HaverMara, the HaverHalf – the JMP Furniture Solutions Half Marathon, the 10k or the family fun run.

Both men’s and women’s records were broken over the 13.1-mile half marathon, with Sean McKenna smashing a record that had stood since 2015 to become the first runner to complete the course in under 80 minutes, crossing the finish line in one hour 17 minutes 13 seconds.

Records tumbled at the event held on Sunday, April 7 Picture: HAVERSPORTS

Records tumbled at the event held on Sunday, April 7 Picture: HAVERSPORTS - Credit: Archant

For the ladies, Nicki Davis broke her own course record to come home in 1.28.32.


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Kieran Hayles set a new Haver10 record by completing the 6.2-mile course in 35 minutes 47 seconds, with the first woman Hayley Coates finishing in 45.06.

In the marathon, a fine performance from Steve Falgate saw him shave almost 10 minutes off the record set last year, covering the distance in an impressive 3.02.46.

A runner in the Haverhill Runs Festival Picture: HAVERSPORTS

A runner in the Haverhill Runs Festival Picture: HAVERSPORTS - Credit: Archant

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Gail Bevan was the first woman to complete the course in 4.02.14.

Jack Tappin HaverSports director, said: “It was great to see so many runners turn out to support the event we launched and that continues to grow.

“While we are a family-friendly race and hugely welcoming of beginner runners, the number of records broken this year shows that we’re also attracting some high calibre runners to continue to better the records set in previous years.

Participants at the popular festival Picture: HAVERSPORTS

Participants at the popular festival Picture: HAVERSPORTS - Credit: Archant

“Now we’re waiting for 2020 to see if we can have our marathon course completed in under three hours.

“I want to thank all our supporters, including our volunteer marshals, those who cheered our runners on, Abbeycroft Leisure for the use of their facilities, and our sponsors Phoenix Events East and JMP Furniture Solutions.

“Most of all though I want to thank our runners who made this event possible, and we hope they’ll continue to support our events and allow us to grow running in Haverhill.

The popular event attracted more than 400 runners Picture: HAVERSPORTS

The popular event attracted more than 400 runners Picture: HAVERSPORTS - Credit: Archant

“Our next event is the Fritton Lake Triathlon Festival on the weekend of 15 and 16 June, so hopefully we’ll see an equally impressive number of compeitors at that too.”

Adam Harding, from festival sponsor Phoenix Events East, said: “We’re proud to support events that benefit the community, with events like this bringing people together in running, in cheering on the athletes, and in supporting local good causes. “It was great to see so many people taking part, and we congratulate all those who competed.”

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