Runners rack up hundreds of miles for Sport Relief in Suffolk & Essex

Going that extra mile: The Sport Relief Games taking place at the West Suffolk Athletics Arena in Bu

Going that extra mile: The Sport Relief Games taking place at the West Suffolk Athletics Arena in Bury St Edmunds on Sunday as all ages take to the running track to clock up their miles. - Credit: Archant

Thousands of people of all ages and abilities pulled on their running shoes in aid of Sport Relief this weekend.

Felixstowe Mayor Doreen Savage cuts the ribbon starting the Sainsbury's Sport Relief Mile at the Gra

Felixstowe Mayor Doreen Savage cuts the ribbon starting the Sainsbury's Sport Relief Mile at the Grange Community Primary School in Felixstowe. - Credit: Su Anderson

Thousands of people of all ages and abilities pulled on their running shoes in aid of Sport Relief this weekend.

One, three and even six-mile events were held up and down Suffolk and north Essex to raise funds for the biennial national charity initiative – which has already raised £55.5 million this year.

In Ipswich the course took runners around the town centre with the Cornhill acting as an entertainment centre with a warm-up, music and refreshments.

An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said: “It was really successful, with quite a few people turning up on the day as well as those who booked in advance.

Runners take part in the Sainsbury's Sport Relief Mile in Ipswich town centre.

Runners take part in the Sainsbury's Sport Relief Mile in Ipswich town centre. - Credit: Su Anderson

“We don’t have exact numbers but it was definitely in the hundreds.

“It has all been really positive, with all the money going to a great cause, and everybody who did it did so with a smile on their face.

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“Thankfully the weather stayed nice, and there were a lot of people out on the roofs cheering on the runners.

“It was nice to do the event in the town centre because it meant everybody going past could give their support, and we knew it would be busy. It was a good way to do it instead of in one of the parks.

Runners take part in the Sainsbury's Sport Relief Mile in Ipswich town centre.

Runners take part in the Sainsbury's Sport Relief Mile in Ipswich town centre. - Credit: Su Anderson

“We are really pleased about the whole thing.”

Up to 180 people took part in the run at Bury St Edmunds, hosted at the leisure centre with the runners sent on their way by the town mayor.

An Abbeycroft Leisure spokesman said: “It was good to see young children get involved with their parents as well.

“Our mascot also ran and helped to motivate people and there was a very good atmosphere.

Sports Relief Mile at Stowmarket Leisure Centre.

Sports Relief Mile at Stowmarket Leisure Centre. - Credit: Gregg Brown

“Everyone seemed to enjoy it and it is for such a worthwhile cause.

“The event went really well.”

Villagers gathered to rally 100 runners who took part in an official event at Otley, started by MP Dan Poulter at the village hall.

Organiser Phil Whiffing said: “We had everyone from those aged a few months in pushchairs to a man in his late 80s in a wheelchair taking part.

Thorpeness Sport relief mile.
Charlotte and amanda dawkins

Thorpeness Sport relief mile. Charlotte and amanda dawkins

“There was a great atmosphere and it was a real community event.

“Most people knew someone taking part so everyone was out cheering the runners home.

“Each person took on a distance that was a challenge for them.”

The final amount raised is not yet known, and will be bolstered by a tea and cake sale from the village under-fives’ group at the start line.

Colchester Castle Park
Sports Relief Mile on Sunday morning from 11am
20/3/2016

Colchester Castle Park Sports Relief Mile on Sunday morning from 11am 20/3/2016

Dogs also took part in the event, and there were some canine entrants in the run at Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre in Stowmarket.

Lorraine Mitcham, manager at the Thorpeness Country Club which hosted a Sport Relief Mile, said: “We had runners of all ages from four to over-80 and even a couple of four legged friends took part.

“Everyone really enjoyed walking and running through Thorpeness and Aldeburgh, both on and off-road, soaking up the heritage coast on a sunny but chilly Sunday morning.”

• See if you were pictured by one of our photographers at one of the Sport Relief Miles in our supplement in tomorrow’s paper (Monday March 20).

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