18 runs and races in Suffolk 2020 - from marathons to zombie sprints and muddy obstacles
PUBLISHED: 19:18 30 January 2020 | UPDATED: 19:18 30 January 2020
As 2020 picks up its pace and shifts out of low gear, the schedule for the county’s runners is starting to take shape. Whether you are a fun runner or a serious competitive athelete, here are selection of events which may have you reaching for your running shoes.
Robert Tomlinson Half Marathon
When: Sunday March 15
What you need to know: Organised by the Stowmarket Striders, this is one of the most picturesque road races in Suffolk. Starting and finishing in the beautiful village of Buxhall the route will take you along quiet country roads in a circular route while you enjoy the expansive views it offers. The half marathon race, sponsored by the family of former club member Robert Tomlinson, is open to all entrants aged 17 years or older on race day with a course suitable for racing wheelchairs. The route takes in some of Suffolk's quietest rural country roads through undulating scenic countryside.
This race will be a County GP Series Event.
Bungay Festival of Running
When: Sunday April 19
What you need to know: This year's event will include the 38th Bungay Black Dog Marathon. There's lots of choice at the Bungay Festival of Running. As well as the full marathon, there's the half marathon, 10km and 5km races. You can also enter the Double Doggie, racing both the 10km and half marathon on the same day.
There is also a fun run which takes place entirely on the sports ground, distance approximately 800m.
The marathon course (26 miles 385 yards) and the half marathon course (13 miles 192.5 yards) are classified as multi-terrain courses, as is the 10km race. The 5km race is a measured road race with an accuracy certificate.
The Bungay Marathon and half marathon had measurement accuracy certificates until 2013. In 2014 both officially became multi-terrain courses. The courses therefore do not have current measurement accuracy certificates, but have Statements of Course Measurement. The surface of a path (1.7 miles long) had deteriorated to the point where measurement accuracy was no longer sufficient. The course itself has not changed. The 10km course uses the same path and is therefore also classified as multi-terrain.
The marathon course is two laps of a 13.1 mile loop through the scenic Waveney Valley of Suffolk and Norfolk. The half marathon course is one lap of the same loop. The 10 km course shares parts of the same loop. The site is at the BARC on Pirnhow Street, Ditchingham. NR35 2RT.
The 2020 Alton Water Run
When: Sunday May 3
What you need to know: The Alton Water Run takes place at the beautiful Alton Water reservoir close to the Suffolk/Essex border. With runs to suit all ages and abilities, it is accessible to all. It is conveniently located, only 20 minutes from Colchester and 10 minutes from Ipswich. It's the perfect Sunday out for spectators as well as runners.
The Alton Water Run has three routes: The 2k is open to all, including children in pushchairs and teams in fancy dress.
The 5k run is a chip-timed race for children aged 11+ and adults. The route winds through woodlands and fields, a great alternative to Parkrun and fantastic for C25K runners.
The 10k run is a chip-timed race, attracting runners from across the region. This route crosses woodland, fields and country lanes. It can be a great training run as part of a marathon or half marathon programme, it can be a target race for those focusing on their 10k time, and it can be an idyllic off-road setting for runners hoping to complete this distance for the first time. It is open to those aged 15+.
Furthermore, the Alton Water Run has a festival feel with fabulous food stalls, children's entertainment and side stalls, a café, picnic area and playground.
Rotary Heritage Coast Run
When: Sunday May 3
What you need to know: The Heritage Coast Run and Walk, also known as the Saxmundham Rotary Marathon, is an annual event enabling runners and walkers from across the UK to enjoy the beautiful Suffolk coast in a different way. Saxmundham Rotary Club's Heritage Coast Marathon, Half Marathon and Fun Run and walks still prove to be as popular as ever after 37 years.
There are three courses, all starting and finishing from Thorpeness: six miles, along with half and full marathons.
The starting and finishing point for all three courses is situated at Thorpeness playing fields near IP16 4LX on the B1353 road. Free car parking is provided and some food and drink is available on site.
Toilets are available but there are limited changing facilities. Many competitors arrive and leave in running gear or change in their cars. If you want food to take with you (gels, power bars, drinks etc), you will need to bring these with you. There are water stations available around the courses.
All entrants completing their course will receive a medal. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead at all times.
Ipswich Twilight Road Races: 5K
When: Saturday May 9
What you need to know: The 5k race has been transformed into an afternoon of athletics, hosted completely off-road around the Ipswich waterfront.
The Ipswich Building Society Twilight Road Races first hit the streets in August 2015, organised by Ipswich Jaffa Running Club in association with Ipswich Building Society, Suffolk New College and Ipswich Borough Council. The races have since been split into separate events and moved to their current locations on Ipswich Waterfront and Portman Road.
The 5k event includes waves for all ability 5k runners, a Daily Mile for schoolchildren and a 2k 'Most Active County' family event.
For businesses looking to enter a team, why not try our ABP Business Challenge? Designed for a team of three, you'll all participate in the same 5k race. We'll use chip timings to find the fastest team on aggregate, and award a trophy.
Woodbridge 10k Road Race
When: Sunday May 17
What you need to know: The 39th annual Woodbridge Round-the-Town Charity Races are back. The races follow an undulating course through the streets of Woodbridge that brings the whole town out to line the streets and support the runners. The start line for both races is on Burkitt Road, outside of the Buttrums Mill car park, near to the entrance of Woodbridge School. Any warm up exercises can be done in the nearby Woodbridge School grounds.
The 10km race will start promptly at noon, but please ensure you are at the start line by 11.55am to hear any last minute announcements.
The 1.5km junior race will have a single start shortly after the 10km race has set off. However, junior runners should congregate at the junior run assembly area at around 11.40am so that they are ready to move to the start line after the 10km runners have departed.
Over the 39 years the race has been run in excess of £100K has been raised for local charities. The benificary charities are selected each year by club members at the AGM.
The Kirton 5
When: Friday May 29
What you need to know: Organised by the Felixstowe Road Runners, the race starts at Kirton Recreation Ground, Back Road, Kirton IP10 0QQ. The fun run starts at 7pm with the Mike Todd Five Mile race starting at 7.30pm. Runners must be aged 15 or above on day of the race.
Late entries will only be available if race limit of 500 has not been reached online.
The Orwell Challenge
When: Sunday June 21
What you need to know: It attracts nearly 1,000 people every year - and is becoming increasingly popular with both runners and walkers. The Orwell Challenge provides people with the opportunity to walk or run along the beautiful Orwell estuary, over a variety of distances. Organised by Ipswich East Rotary Club, this year it will be celebrating its 44th event and has raised £3million for various good causes.
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In recent years, the event has introduced a trail marathon and half marathon, which is validated by the Trail Running Association, affiliated to UK Athletics. The Orwell Challenge has three principal routes for walkers and trail runners of 13, 19 or 25 miles. The route is well signposted and marshalled and has checkpoints every three or four miles, where drinks, a smiling face and toilet facilities are provided.
Entrants can decide how far they wish to walk or run, with the option to complete a marathon length trail run if required, but you can finish at any checkpoint on the route if you so wish, and will be transported back to HQ.
The three main routes are Levington Loop (12 miles), Fishponds Folly (19 miles) or Orwell (25 miles). A free medal and a certificate will be awarded to each entrant, registering before the day, on their return to HQ.
Race For Life: Pretty Muddy 5K
When: Sunday June 21
What you need to know: Race for Life Pretty Muddy is a brilliant 5k muddy obstacle course. Scramble over the A-frame. Crawl through the mud pit. Have fun with your friends and raise valuable funds for life-saving research.
The Pretty Muddy Ipswich route runs mostly around the Trinity Park showground and is moderately flat. The route is on a mixture of grass and paths with lots of obstacles. There are plenty of cheering points along the way giving the whole event a fantastic atmosphere. There are no changing or showering facilities at this event so you may wish to bring an old towel or similar for your journey home.
Splat Quack Go
When: Saturday July 11 (3K) Sunday July 12 (6/12K)
What you need to know: It's been billed as Suffolk's muddiest mud run with adult obstacle races and family event days. Built for all abilities and all levels. No penalties for skipping obstacles, everyone is here to have a laugh and have fun. Besides getting…well very wet and mucky…you will be jumping over, climbing up, crawling under obstacles, and carrying. You can run, walk, waddle, or be dragged to the finish line, but we really don't want to know where you stick your rubber duck. Sunday's runners will come face-to-face with the infamous, muddiest 'Black Ditch', boggy swampy streams, where you will be caked in mud. The adult course has 50 obstacles including Walls, Monkey Bars, A-Frames, Cargo Nets, Balance Planks, and plenty of funny and super fun challenges such as Space Hoppers. The course is set out in a 6km loop. You can choose on the day to do one or two laps. Most people end up doing one lap as it's quite a challenging course. All 6km/12km runners will receive a free T-Shirt. You'll also receive a medal. The event takes place at Poplar Park, Hollesley.
Ipswich Jaffas Ekiden Relay
When: Sunday July 12
What you need to know: This relay race is one of the most hotly anticipated in the county, attracting runners from Suffolk, Essex, Norfolk and beyond, with a fantastic atmosphere on the day. Affiliated club runners and non club running teams are welcome to enter, with teams of four running a 7.5k leg, two 5k legs and two 10k legs between them, covering a marathon on the grounds of Woodbridge School as a group. Both junior and adult races are held and refreshments (including a barbecue) are available on the day. Advance booking is essential.
Ipswich Twilight Road Races: 10K
When: Friday July 24
What you need to know: The 10k event is now an established fixture in the running calendar, attracting runners of all abilities and ages. With a new venue and course, the event continues to grow and 2020 promises to be the biggest event yet. It will once again start and finish at Ipswich Town Football Club's iconic stadium on Portman Road, Ipswich. The route will be very similar to last year, but a few minor changes have been made to help improve the runner experience.
Can you beat the sunset? Join in with Ipswich's mass participation run and run past some of the most iconic Ipswich buildings and landmarks.
When: Sunday September 6
What you need to know: The race start, on the Market Hill, is a 10 minute walk from race headquarters. The Framlingham 10k is a scenic, multi lap (2.5 laps) course, starting on the Market Hill and finishing on the Sports Field in Badingham Road. It covers Market Hill, Church and Castle Streets, Badingham Road, Brabling Green and back to New Road. From New Road there are beautiful views of The Castle (on the hill!) and Church as well as the College.
The Junior Race is approx 2k. and is for those under 15 years. It also starts on the Market Hill and heads off from Market Hill towards Saxmundham Road, Pageant Field then on to the Sports Field to the finish. There is ample parking on the sports field where you will also find showers, changing and toilets. There are a few public toilets in Crown and Anchor Lane, near the start.
Great East Run
When: Sunday September 20
What you need to know: Take on a fantastic half marathon in Ipswich. Challenge yourself to an amazing 13.1 miles through the beautiful Suffolk countryside, with musical entertainment, and plenty of cheering crowds.
The Great East Run course follows a scenic route that is suitable for runners of all abilities. Starting and finishing on Russell Road, runners pass the prestigious Willis building before heading through the beautiful Holywells Park and travelling down to Ipswich's vibrant waterfront.
The route then passes Felaw Maltings on the way out and back along Wherstead Road, where participants will see Fox's Marina, Suffolk Food Hall and go twice under the iconic Orwell Bridge into Freston.
On returning to the town centre, runners will head towards Ipswich Town FC's Portman Road stadium, passing the statues of two football legends, Sir Bobby Robson and Sir Alf Ramsey, before crossing the finish line in the stadium's practice pitch and being welcomed by hundreds of supporters in the stands.
Richard Bennett Felixstowe Coastal 10M
When: September TBC
What you need to know: Organised by the Felixstowe Road Runners. The course is nearly all tarmac promenade, pavement or road but between the Ferry and the Martello Tower there is a stretch of sometimes heavy shingle and so because of this it is not suitable for wheelchair competitors. All finishers will receive a medal.
What you need to know: The East Anglia event will take place at Hockwold Hall Estate, which is centrally located 15 miles from Ely and Thetford. The Zombie Evacuation 5K Race is a course with zombie-themed challenges and loads of hungry zombies lurking about, so be careful. Survivors collect a Zombie Evacuation Race T-shirt and a finisher medal when making back to safety at the finish line. Trophies are awarded to the top three finishers. Also there is also opportunities to sign up and become a zombie.
Whole Hog Race
When: Sunday October 11
What you need to know: Can you go the Whole Hog (30+ obstacles/around 5 miles), or even the Boss Hog (40+ obstacles/around 7 miles)? Set yourself the challenge to tackle this spectacular obstacle course and mud race laid out at Wantisden Hall, near Woodbridge. The events are open to both individuals and teams of up to 20 people. For larger teams email the organisers at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss alternative booking options.
When: Saturday October 24
What you need to know: Natural England, the RSBP and the National Trust are a few of the many organisations managing this sensitive and beautiful landscape at Dunwich. These races run across this peaceful and serene landscape and all those who respect their environment are welcome to join om. Extremely flat by Endurancelife standards, the moderate Suffolk 10K, half, marathon and ultra courses are quick, but will soon become a series favourite.