Turley regains his Stowmarket Half-Marathon title

Race winner, Ben Turley approaches the finish at the end of the Stowmarket Half-Marathom. Picture: D

Race winner, Ben Turley approaches the finish at the end of the Stowmarket Half-Marathom. Picture: DAVID FIELD/STOWMARKET STRIDERS FACEBOOK - Credit: Archant

Ben Turley, of Ipswich JAFFA, won the Stowmarket Half-Marathon by more than a minute on Sunday, regaining his title in the process.

Usually a spring race, in the build-up to a spring marathon, the Stowmarket event had been postponed in March due to bad weather and instead been rescheduled for the end of September.

And a field of 207 completed the 13.1-mile distance along quiet, country roads from Buxhall, led home by an in-form Turley.

Staged in memory of Joe Cox, and sponsored by Tomlinson Groundcare, the Stowmarket Half-Marathon’s course records were never in danger.

Turley triumphed in 1hr 16mins 07secs, finishing 68 seconds ahead of Tony Gavin, of Felixstowe Road Runners, who stopped the clock at 1:17:15.

Peter Miller, from Haverhill RC, was third in 1:18:55, with fourth-placed Scott Williams, of the host club Stowmarket Striders, taking fourth in 1:19:25.

It was a good run by Turley, who went quicker than his 1:17:22 effort at the very competitive ‘The Big Half-Marathon’ in London, which incorporated the British Half-Marathon Championships in early March.

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But he was some way off his own personal best, which stands at 1:14:56 from his fourth spot at the Milton Keynes Festival of Running Half-Marathon in 2016.

“I’ve run the Stowmarket Half-Marahon twice now, and won both times, the first being three years ago. So I like this event!” revealed Turley.

“I went out from the start and was on my own for the whole race. It was quite lonely, although the fact I was in the lead spurred me on, although I’d rather have someone to chase.

“I hadn’t felt too good during the week, so I wasn’t too sure how I would run. I had to grind it out.

“I have been concentrating on the shorter stuff this year, and have managed to get my five-mile and 10k times down, and now I will be putting in a few longer runs in training.

“I’m targeting the Manchester Half-Marathon in a couple of weeks, but I won’t be winning that in 1:16!” joked Ipswich-based Turley, who is aged 36 and is in Clive Sparkes’ training group at JAFFA.

Former Woodbridge Shuffler, Aaron Scott, holds the course best at Stowmarket, having registered a cracking 1:09:17 in 2016, and likewise Odette Robson’s female course record of 1:20:54 (2015) was not seriously challenged on Sunday.

Emma Drury, a member of Sudbury Joggers, celebrated lifting the ladies’ title in 1:32:30, finishing 28th overall.

Second spot went to over-40 veteran Sarah Clow, of Airbourne Fit, in 1:39:28, with St Albans Striders’ Donna Irwin, also in the over-40 age group, third in 1:44:20.

In addition to winning the individual title, Drury also led Sudbury Joggers to the top female team award. She was supported by Jackie Hann and Sally-Ann Owen.

Stowmarket Striders were second in this category, thanks to the efforts of Victoria Miller, Ellen Hollingsworth and Karen Hamilton. The trio of Catherine Walsh, Joanne Harper and Joanna Blyth secured third for Felixstowe.

Likewise, men’s winner Turley spearheaded his JAFFA club to a team victory in the men’s section. The team was closed out by Craig Fiddeman (eighth) and Ian Old (11th spot).

Felixstowe RR, boosted by Gavin’s second place, took second in the team stakes alongside Ben Jacobs and Dave Salomon.


Top 20 men: 1 B Turley (Ipswich JAFFA) 1:16:07; 2 T Gavin (Felixstowe RR) 1:17:15; 3 P Miller (Haverhill RC) 1:18:35; 4 S Williams (Stowmarket Striders) 1:19:25; 5 D Lawson (Unattached) 1:19:34; 6 P Hannah (Un) 1:19:42; 7 J Last (Framlingham Flyers) 1:20:17; 8 C Fiddaman (JAFFA) 1:22:00; 9 B Jacobs (Felixstowe RR) 1:22:43; 10 J Morris (Helpston Harriers) 1:23:00.

11 I Old (JAFFA) 1:24:4; 12 C James (Stowmarket) 1:24:08; 13 D Solomon (Felixstowe RR) 1:24:22; 14 M Davey (Biggleswade AC) 1:25:20; 15 P Vincent (Wymondham) 1:25:55; 16 M Hayden (Framlingham) 1:26:00; 17 S Brooke (Felixstowe RR) 1:26:04; 18 N Herbert (Un) 1:26:25; 19 D Olefir (Saint Edmund Pacers) 1:26:28; 20 D Cook (Felixstowe RR) 1:26:42.

Top 10 ladies: 1 E Drury (Sudbury) 1:32:30; 2 S Clow (Airborne Fitness) 1:39:28; 3 D Irwin (St Albans) 1:44:20; 4 J Sheahan (Un) 1:45:26l 5 M Moyse (Framlingham) 1:47:16; 6 K Allen 1:47:28; 7 J Hann (Sudbury) 1:47:45; 8 A Kocinska 1:48:40; 9 C Durie 1:49:37; 10 J Maddams 1:50:12.

Winning male veterans, Over-40: Last. O-45: Davey. O-50: Morris. O-55 C Thomas (Colchester Harriers); 0-60: M Marriott. O-65: J Monterio (Haverhill).

Female veterans, O-35: Kodiska. O-40: G Baxter. O-45: Allen. O-50: Moyse. O-55: Sheahan. O-60: S Ambrose. O-65: M Wright (JAFFA)

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