Running club enjoys end of summer event in Thurlow

WHAT A SUMMER: Michael Gilbert wrapped up his summer season with victory in the 5 mile race
WHAT A SUMMER: Michael Gilbert wrapped up his summer season with victory in the 5 mile race

Haverhill Running Club were basking in the glow of a successful race on Sunday, as they announced it will be on the official race calendar from next year.

The club held its annual event, the Thurlow 5 and 10-mile races on Sunday, with 142 runners taking part.

GREAT FUN: Three Haverhill runners share a joke on the course

GREAT FUN: Three Haverhill runners share a joke on the course

Race director Karen Martin said it all ‘came together beautifully in the end’, despite a few early morning headaches on the day.

She said: “It went really well, the weather was just fantastic, perfect running weather.

“We had a few issues in the morning — the main problem was that we couldn’t access the finish line. The field that we were planning to use still had the cows in, and we couldn’t reach the farmer to ask him to move them.

“But we managed to move the finish line to the village hall which was actually really lovely.

WINNER: Saffron Strider Fiona Halls finished the 10 mile women's race first

WINNER: Saffron Strider Fiona Halls finished the 10 mile women's race first

“It meant there were probably even more people congregated around which made it a really nice place to finish.

“And the Haverhill club did really well. Members of the club Michael Gilbert and Andrew Bell won the 5 and 10 races and Mary Ann Tuli was the third female to finish in the five-mile event.

“It sort of marks the end of the summer season too.

“We’ve had really good feedback from the clubs and runners and found out recently that it will be part of the Grand Prix circuit from next year.

“It has been in the past but it’s great to be asked to be a part of it again, it shows that it’s been a success.”

The Suffolk Grand Prix is a series of races each year, for members of running clubs — as individuals and teams — and can be either five or 10-mile events.

Karen said the club had been approached by the organisers a few weeks ago about joining the schedule next year, and they were happy to accept.

“We’re really pleased they came back to us about it,” she said.

“We organised this so late this year and still had nearly 150 runners. So I think we can make this a really successful event in the future.

“It’s early days but it would be great to see it grow.

“And I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who supported us, all the volunteers in particular.

“Without them, the race wouldn’t have been possible, they would have been there come rain or shine — I’m glad it wasn’t wet as much for them as anything.

“But I also want to say a big thank you to the local businesses that have supported us too, it really has been a local event.”