Around 400 runners will be pounding through the streets of Haverhill and the surrounding villages when the inaugural HaverHalf and Haver10 take place today (Sunday, May 11).
HaverHalf (a 13.1 mile half marathon), which runs simultaneously with Haver10 (10 kilometres), have together attracted more than 350 entries from across the country.
Both events have already raised thousands of pounds for St Nicholas Hospice Care and have attracted interest from across the region’s rich running scene and beyond, and have also inspired the Man Alive documentary team to shoot a documentary on the race, which is set to be aired at Haverhill Arts Festival in June.
The races set off from the recreation ground at 9.30am, with the half marathon route travelling out to Withersfield and Great Wratting before returning to the town, heading along the railway line and through Sturmer before returning through the Chalkstone Estate, while the 10k heads back from the railway line along Ehringshausen Way.
Both races have been measured and granted full licences (multi terrain) by UK Athletics.
Event organiser and race director Jack Tappin said: “Hopefully the whole community will get involved – even if you’re not running or volunteering, please come out in force to support the runners.
“There will be a mass of runners coming down High Street and Queen Street soon after 9.30am looking eager and then they will come trickling back through from Swan Lane past Market Square to the rec from 10am onwards, no doubt looking exhausted.
“If you could get out to cheer them on then it really does help and hopefully will create a great atmosphere.
“If you’re able to help volunteer that would be great too and we can find something for you to do, even if it’s just helping on the rec or with the litter pick at the end.
“I always knew Haverhill had a vibrant running scene and it has been pleasing to see how well the race has been supported, particularly in the town, by running club members but also from across the region.
“I’ve also been pleasantly surprised with the number of local businesses wanting to get involved and support the event,
“I’m focused now on putting on a fantastic event and ensuring that all the runners have a great experience, so that this can be the first of many and become an increasingly popular annual event.”
The events have been made possible thanks to funding from Sanofi, Real Bodies Health and Fitness gym, Haverhill Town Council, ONE Haverhill and Suffolk County Council, and also the support of Stylize Display Graphics, Tesco, Digital Print Shop, GreenAir Cars, OS Communications, Perform Sports Therapy and Castle Manor Academy.
Entry can be made on the day and costs £18 for HaverHalf (£16 for affiliated runners) and £14 for Haver10 (£12).
There are medals and goody bags for all finishers and premium goody bags and trophies for category winners.
For all the latest news see Thursday’s (May 15) Echo.