GALLERY: JAFFA’s Rick Weston heads west to win Tarpley 20 crown as runners gear up for April’s London Marathon

Runners taking part in the Tarpley 10 and 20 mile races from Beyton Middle School on Sunday morning

Runners taking part in the Tarpley 10 and 20 mile races from Beyton Middle School on Sunday morning Tom Cammack from Springfield Striders was 5th in the 20 mile race - Credit: Archant

Ipswich JAFFA’S Rick Weston swept to victory at the annual Bury Tarpley 20-mile road race, held in windy conditions from Beyton School on Sunday.

Runners taking part in the Tarpley 10 and 20 mile races from Beyton Middle School on Sunday morning

Runners taking part in the Tarpley 10 and 20 mile races from Beyton Middle School on Sunday morning - Credit: Archant

A total of 237 runners completed the rural 20-mile challenge, many of them using the event as a warm-up for this April’s London Marathon, while a further 187 completed the supporting 10-mile race.

Organised by Saint Edmund Pacers, the longer 20-mile route wound its way through west Suffolk countryside around the villages of Beyton, Hessett, Gedding, Thorpe Morieux, Brettenham and Drinkstone.

Weston, who also runs for Serpentine, recorded a personal best time of 1hr 55mins 19secs on his way to victory, a good time considering that there was a strong head wind in places.

The 27-year-old beat his previous PB by just 28 seconds, following a 1.55.47 clocking on his way to sixth spot at the Bramley 20 in 2012. He was fourth in the Essex 20 at Colchester in that same year.


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Weston has a PB of 2.36.01 for the marathon, set at London last year, and that landmark could also be in danger, based on the form he showed on Sunday.

David Connell, of Huntingdonshire AC, was second in 1.55.56, while Harwich Runners’ Robert Reason was third in 1.57.38.

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Reason’s time was 49 seconds adrift of his PB, set at the Essex 20 in 2011 (1.56.49). The 34-year-old had finished fifth at the Great Bentley Half-Marathon just two weeks earlier.

The Springfield Striders duo of Mark Newton and Tom Cammack were fourth and fifth respectively, followed by Allen Smalls, who was the leading veteran in sixth.

Ultra distance specialist Smalls, of Colchester Harriers, recorded 2.01.35, to scoop the over-45 award.

Rachel Litherland claimed the Tarpley 20-mile ladies’ crown, stopping the clock at 2.29.11.

Over-35 veteran Litherland enjoyed a 57-second margin of victory over Maxine Lane, of Newmarket Cycling & Triathlon Club. Lane, 38, was a runner-up in 2.30.08.

There was an eye-catching run from Breege Nordin, an over-55 veteran from Ilford AC. She was a fine third overall in 2.31.22.

Meanwhile, eight runners beat the one-hour barrier in the Tarpley 10-mile race, which began 15 minutes after the 20-mile event.

Scott Harrington, of Otley AC, was away and clear in 54.29, more than a minute clear of runner-up Paul Holley, from Newmarket Joggers. Holley was the first veteran in a swift 55.40.

Oscar Partridge, of the host club Pacers, was an impressive third with 57.04, with his team-mate Tom Kingsnorth taking fifth spot.

Colchester Harriers lifted a couple of trophies in this race. Colin Ridley, a former member of West Suffolk AC, won the over-50 section in 59.26, which was good enough for seventh spot.

Harriers’ club-mate Paul Preston returned from a long-term injury to take the over-40 prize in 62.05.

There was an individual victory for the Pacers in the ladies’ 10-miler. Nicki Brinkman triumphed in 65.35, just 23 seconds slower than her personal best of 65.12, set at the Hadleigh 10 last November.

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