Documentary about inaugural Haverhill races

Feom left: Gary Pontin, Jack Tappin, Matthew Hancock MP, Ron Walker
Feom left: Gary Pontin, Jack Tappin, Matthew Hancock MP, Ron Walker

A documentary is being filmed about two inaugural Haverhill races.

The team behind the Haverhill Man Alive documentary, made to shine a positive light on the town as a riposte to the 1968 BBC programme, are now working to produce a documentary about HaverHalf.

From left: Jack Tappin, Jamie Hall and Neil Saville of Stylize

From left: Jack Tappin, Jamie Hall and Neil Saville of Stylize

Gary Pontin and Ron Walker have already been filming with race director Jack Tappin to document to coming together of the race, which marks the first time Haverhill has hosted a half marathon.

Filming has been done with supporters and sponsors including Matthew Hancock MP, Haverhill mayor Roger André, Suffolk County Councillors Anne Gower, Tony Brown and Julian Flood, beneficiaries St Nicholas Hospice Care, Stylize Display Graphics and GreenAir Cars.

Other sponsors including Sanofi, Castle Manor Academy, Real Bodies Health and Fitness and Perform Sports Therapy will also be involved.

The film crew will be shooting when the races take place on May 11, with the documentary expected to be finished by June.

From left: Suffolk County Cllrs Tony Brown, Anne Gower, Julian Flood

From left: Suffolk County Cllrs Tony Brown, Anne Gower, Julian Flood

“Man Alive is still a current operation and we thought the race fitted very well with our profile and concept, which is to highlight the positives of Haverhill and its people and continue the process of dismantling negative views that still appear to persist” said producer Ron, 64, from Lordscroft Lane.

“My personal objective is that we will find people making positive statements which have come not from a project specifically orientated to bring such comments forth.

“We’re due to revisit the 2010 documentary in 2015 and would like to see that half marathon project going strong.”

Main cameraman Gary, 42, from Great Yarmouth, who lived in Haverhill from 1971 to 2009, added: “I wanted to continue the positive light that has been shone on Haverhill by Man Alive and continue that message through HaverHalf.

“This documentary will help up the profile of HaverHalf and generate more runners and hopefully cement it in the long term on the Haverhill calendar.”

Already close to 130 runners have signed up, but organisers are pushing for more to get involved and for people to help marshal also.

“It was a big boost when I first heard from Ron and welcomed their involvement in making the documentary,” said Jack.

“Hopefully this will be chronicling the start of something special and years from now people will be able to glimpse back at the origins of an established community event.”

Mr Hancock said in his interview that he approaches the day ‘with a bit of trepidation’ as it will be the first time he has run a competitive half marathon.

“I’m thrilled that this is happening and as a keen runner it’s great that Haverhill has it’s own race to showcase the town,” said the skills minister.

“This puts Haverhill on the map as it’s a growing town that’s on the up and I hope the race goes on to become an established fixture.”

Cllr André said: “The town council was particularly keen to build on the Olympic legacy and this is also a chance to bring people into the town and get people involved in sport.

“It will bring the community together like when the Olympic Torch came through and people thronged the streets.

“We can compete with any town and Haverhill is an expanding town, and I’ve seen from races elsewhere people become accustomed to them and have them on their calendar so hopefully this will become an annual event too.

“We need better and more services for the growing population, and the town council can’t do that alone so we need partners like HaverHalf to provide an opportunity for us to leverage extra value for the community.”

HaverHalf and Haver10 will be held on May 11, setting off at 9.30am from the recreation ground in Camps Road.

Entry is £16 for HaverHalf (£14 for affiliated club runners) and £12 for Haver10 (£10 for affiliated club runners).

Entry costs rise by £2 on the day.

Entry is free if you raise £100 – pay the entry fee and then submit the amount raised minus that fee.

There will be trophies and premium goody bags for first, second and third, first over 40, first over 60 (both male and female, both races).

All finishers will get goody bags and medals.

T shirts featuring the logo are available for £10.

All money raised goes to St Nicholas Hospice Care.

You can enter the race at, at or by collecting a form Haverhill Arts Centre.

You can e-mail for an application for or to volunteer to marshal on the day.

For all the latest news see today’s (Thursday, February 28) Echo.