Suffolk: Running community defiant over London Marathon despite tragedy of Boston

The Stowmarket Striders had runners at Brighton last weekend, in Boston and other will be running in

The Stowmarket Striders had runners at Brighton last weekend, in Boston and other will be running in London. - Credit: Archant

RUNNING clubs in the region have welcomed the decision to continue with the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday, despite the tragic events in Boston.

Competitors during the 2012 London Marathon

Competitors during the 2012 London Marathon - Credit: PA

Around 15 runners from Ipswich JAFFA Running Club will be taking part, and a club spokesman believed they would all be determined to continue with the race.

“The events in Boston were both awful and shocking, and our thoughts have been with all those affected.

“The running community is a close-knit one, and we believe there will be a collective desire on Sunday to press on with the race - showing support for those who have suffered as a result of the bombings, and giving the message that we will not be beaten by such mindless acts.”

The spokesman added that some Ipswich runners were also planning to wear black laces to show unity with those in Boston. There will also be many family and friends at the event supporting.

He added: “The London Marathon is always an emotional day for all the competitors and spectators, but it will be even more so this year.”

Colchester Harriers AC will also be sticking to their plans for London, despite the sad scenes at Boston on Monday

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Harriers club coach David Wright, a marathon and ultra-runner himself, said: “We will just be continuing as normal.

“We don’t have that many club runners doing London this year anyway, but I can’t see it affecting anyone.

“The chances of anything happening at the London race are remote.”

Meanwhile, Rod Allard, club treasurer and a stalwart member of Saint Edmund Pacers, admitted that he had concerns about continuing with the club’s planned trip to London this Sunday, in the wake of the Boston Marathon tragedy.

Experienced runner Allard, who has himself run the London event many times, has organised a coach to take runners and spectators to the capital from Bury St Edmunds.

That trip will still go ahead, after receiving positive feedback from club-mates, although he remains uneasy about the weekend.

Allard explained: “Having watched the pictures of the events at the Boston Marathon, they have left me with some concerns with regards to the club coach trip to London.

“As organiser, I am taking 40 plus people into a situation where the same sort of thing could happen, and I wonder whether, we as a club, have a responsibility to those travelling to make them aware of the concerns.

“It may well just have been an American situation, but we do not know that.

“The pledges of the London Marathon people to redouble security checks mean absolutely nothing because, as you well know, the crowds are so intense that it would be impossible to monitor.

“This may well be an over reaction but, by choice, I would stay well away from London on Sunday.

“I do, however, feel an obligation to oversee the trip if it goes ahead. I will without doubt, rethink my viewing positions!”

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