Running festival is hailed a big success by organisers

RACE WINNER: Paul Galt won the HaverMara on Sunday in a time of three hours, 14 minutes and two seconds
RACE WINNER: Paul Galt won the HaverMara on Sunday in a time of three hours, 14 minutes and two seconds
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The second staging of the Haverhill Running Festival, which attracted more than 300 people, has been hailed a success.

The festival took place on Sunday morning and was headed by the popular HaverHalf and Haver10, as well as the HaverMara, which was only the second time the town has held a marathon.

CLOSE RACE: A number of runners are close together at the front of the pack during the Haver10k race

CLOSE RACE: A number of runners are close together at the front of the pack during the Haver10k race

Following on from last year’s inaugural event, the quartet was completed by the HaverSports Fun Run for all of the family.

Jack Tappin, of race organisers HaverSports, said: “I want to thank everyone who was involved in the Haverhill Running Festival 2017. All our marshals, our sponsors, our supporters and most importantly, our runners.

“I hope all our runners had a great race and will join us to realise a bigger and better Haverhill Running Festival in 2018, while also continuing to join HaverSports to deliver premium athletics events in Haverhill and beyond.”

Shirley Fowler, of HaverHalf sponsors JMP Furniture Solutions, also competed in that race and won first lady in the over 50 category.

HOME CONTINGENT: Peter Brunning (137) was among the runners representing Haverhill Running Club on Sunday

HOME CONTINGENT: Peter Brunning (137) was among the runners representing Haverhill Running Club on Sunday

She said: “We’re pleased to have continued our sponsorship of HaverHalf.

“As a runner myself, it’s always pleasing to see so many people competing in your home town. Let’s hope running continues to thrive in Haverhill and JMP will be here supporting that goal.”

Reaching a notable landmark on the day was Haverhill runner Dave Edwards, who completed his 100th marathon, while three generations of his family competed at the festival, with daughter Michelle Haynes completing the JMP Furniture Solutions Half Marathon and granddaughter Belle completing the fun run.

Edwards, 59, who finished the 26.2-mile route in four hours, 11 minutes and 52 seconds to join the 100 Marathon Club, said: “I’m glad I got to reach the 100 mark here with my family.

“When I started running 11 years ago I never thought it could be done.

“It wasn’t the young runners winning races that inspired me, it was the runners in their 60s and 70s who had done so many marathons.”

The marathon was won by Paul Galt in a time of three hours, 14 minutes and two seconds, with the fastest female Puri Meseguer-Bernal beating the course record in 3:53:52.

Rick Ebberson came out on top in the HaverHalf (1:24:21) with Kirsty Guneratne the first female home over the 13 miles in a time of 1:37:52.

The Haver10k attracted a strong field of almost 150 runners with Brian Corley crossing the finishing line first in 35 minutes and 49 seconds.

Marianne Naylor (41:37) headed the female field of the race.

The Haver Fun Run was won by Martin Courtois with Hannah Troop the first girl to cross the finish line.

Other notable Haverhill runners included Dan Heath coming third overall in the HaverHalf.

Kirsty Millard took first lady over 30 in the half marathon, Martin Lawrence finished first male over 50 in the same race, while Jackie Dockerill took first lady over 50 in HaverMara.

While the festival has been held in the last two years, it is the fourth year that HaverSports has organised the JMP Furniture Solutions Half Marathon and the Haver10 10k race.

The challenging, flat course saw runners from across the east of England take to the streets for the festival which once again supported the work of St Nicholas Hospice Care.

Next up for HaverSports is RecoverRace in Risby, Bury St Edmunds, on Sunday, July 30, with a choice of fun run, 12k and half marathon available.

Enter online at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/recoverrace-tickets-30490967304