David Hudson retains Tarpley 20-mile title
More than 650 runners completed the annual Tarpley 10 and 20-mile road races, which were organised by Saint Edmund Pacers and staged from Thurston Community College in Beyton on a cold but bright Sunday morning.
Many runners used the events as a stepping stone for spring marathons, 324 conquering the undulating 20-mile route around Beyton, Hessett, Gedding, Thorpe Morieux, Brettenham and Drinkstone, and a further 337 finishing the shorter one-lap 10-mile course.
David Hudson, of BRJ Huntingdon, was the only runner to beat the two-hour barrier on his way to victory in the 20-mile race, so retaining his title won in 2017.
Hudson stopped the clock at an impressive 1hr 49mins 21secs, finishing more than 10 minutes ahead of his nearest rivals. In the process, he broke his own course record, which had stood at 1:51:54.
Jason Duff, of Felixstowe Road Runners, was just outside the two-hour mark with a good time of 2:00:36 for second spot, followed by Ryston’s Richard Ebbs (2:02:36) and Ipswich JAFFA’s Steven Parry (fourth in a personal best 2:02:44).
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Ebbs was also the leading over-45 veteran, while Parry topped the over-50 section.
The top five was completed by Sudbury Joggers’ Kieran Hayles, in a PB of 2:03:06, while Nick Smith was the first finisher from host club Saint Edmunds Pacers in a PB of 2:06:52 for seventh spot.
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Emma Attwood, of Stowmarket Striders, celebrated a PB and a victory in the ladies’ race. She claimed victory in 2:22:53.
Joanne Woledge, of the Pacers, was second lady and the leading veteran finisher in 2:23:59, followed by Ely’s Zoe Shackleton.
The supporting 10-mile race was won by the experienced Mark Newton, of Springfield Striders, in a swift 54:22.
An in-form Jim Last, of Framingham Flyers, was second in a PB of 55:49 and also the first veteran, while fellow Suffolk athletes James Hayward (JAFFA), Mark Hayward (Newmarket) and Adam Howlett (Framlingham) rounded off the top five.
Jessica Prior, of Trent Park, was a clear winner of the ladies’ 10-mile crown in 65:53, with Pacers’ over-45 veteran Angela Joiner-Handy just over a minute behind with 67:09 in second. Stowmarket Striders’ Gemma Porch (67:32) took third spot.