Organisers of Bury St Edmunds Running Festival say event was ‘well received’ despite error

Runners take to the streets in the Bury St Edmunds half marathon. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Runners take to the streets in the Bury St Edmunds half marathon. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Organisers of the inaugural Bury St Edmunds Running Festival said the event was “largely well received” despite a marshalling error which led to participants in the 10k race not completing the full distance.

More than 900 runners took part in the festival on Sunday – which featured a marathon, half-marathon, 10k and fun run – at Skyliner Leisure Centre at Moreton Hall.

Organisers HaverSports said the “misdirection error” in the 10k meant the distance was nearly half a mile short and have offered runners free entry to their next 10k race at the Haverhill Running Festival in March next year.

HaverSports says it will now reflect on the event before making a decision on whether the running festival in Bury St Edmunds will return next year.

Charlotte Waspe, from Stowmarket Striders, who took part in the 10k, said conditions at the race were perfect for personal best (PB) times.


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She said: “Us 10k runners all set off and the lead runner was off following the cyclist. The marshalls at the point where everyone turned incorrectly didn’t direct the others to follow the lead runner and cyclist.

“Everyone I spoke to at the finish line was sorely disappointed when they checked their watches to see the distance wasn’t full.

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“It was such a shame because the course was great, conditions were perfect and it would have been PBs galore. It’s the first event though and people are volunteering.”

The festival saw 912 runners take part across the four distances, and the event was in aid of Bury Town Pastors and My WiSH.

Jack Tappin, from HaverSports, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who supported the event, which was largely well received.

“We’re really sorry for the misdirection error in the 10k event, and would like to offer those runners free entry to our 10k at the Haverhill Running Festival on March 11.

“The 10k finished 0.4 of a mile short, but the winner did complete the full distance.

“Logistically it can be quite difficult when there are multiple races going on.

“The marshalls are all volunteers who got up early to stand out in the wind.

“We’ll take a week or two now to reflect on the event before making a decision about next year.”

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