JAFFA and Harriers win Ekiden Relay open titles

The Colchester Harriers squad who enjoyed such huge success at the Ipswich JAFFA Ekiden Relays last

The Colchester Harriers squad who enjoyed such huge success at the Ipswich JAFFA Ekiden Relays last weekend - Credit: Archant

Colchester Harriers and hosts Ipswich JAFFA scooped the main open titles at last Sunday’s Ipswich JAFFA Ekiden Relay, held over the traditional 26.2-mile (42.2K) distance at Woodbridge School.

Runners set off on leg one of the Ipswich JAFFA Ekiden Relay, held at Woodbridge School. Picture: JO

Runners set off on leg one of the Ipswich JAFFA Ekiden Relay, held at Woodbridge School. Picture: JOHN BILNER/IPSWICH JAFFA FACEBOOK PAGE - Credit: Archant

JAFFA won the ladies’ open crown, while the Harriers were in dominant form in the men’s open section, as well as winning the male over-40, male over-50 and female over-50 awards. Saint Edmund Pacers won the female over-40 title and Ipswich Harriers clinched the Mixed section.

The race was held over six legs, an opening 7.2 stage being followed by alternative 5K (three of them) and 10K (two) legs to make up the marathon distance.

JAFFA were nearly four minutes clear in the ladies’ open event, celebrating a winning time of 2hrs 48mins 01secs. Colchester Harriers were second (2:51:53) and Bungay Black Dog third (3:08:06).

The JAFFA six-strong team comprised Laura Thomas, Rachel Hamblyn, Helen Davies, Sam Banks,Sara Bird and Suzy West.


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Colchester Harriers won the men’s open race in 2:24:59, finishing more than three minutes clear of runners-up JAFFA (2:28:02) with Felixstowe Road Runners in third (2:38:04).

In the individual stakes, Angus Holford was the quickest of the opening 7.2K stage in 23:57, followed by Felixstowe RR’s Ben Carpendale (24:21) and City of Norwich’s Gary Crush (24:26).

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Ramadan Osman posted the fastest 5K leg of 15:58, nearly a minute ahead of his Colchester team-mates Mussett (16:51) and Afewerki (17:09). The JAFFA duo of Craig Fiddaman (17:14) and James Calvert (17:17) were fourth and fifth quickest.

Ipswich Harriers’ John Millar registered a swift 31:00 to charge around the four laps of the 10K distance. Waveney Valley’s Matt Jeffries (33:50) and Simon Beedell (34:14) were also in the top three.

For the ladies’ JAFFA’s Thomas was away and clear over the opening 7.2K leg with 27:48, ahead of Colchester’s Lucy Mapp (28:53) and Elisa Bostock (30:03).

Over the 5K distance, JAFFA’s Davies (18:21) and Waveney Valley’s Sam Lines (18:21) both clocked the fastest female times, with Charlotte Murphy taking third in 18:30. Davies also rattled up the fastest 10K (36:15). Nicole Colleen Mukuya was second with 37:59, and Witham RC’s Rachel Sweatt third (38:42).

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