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WATCH: Herd of 85 runners complete Elmer trail in memory of late friend

PUBLISHED: 11:32 20 June 2019 | UPDATED: 13:08 20 June 2019

85 runners pictured at Elmer HQ during the Elmer's Big Parade - Suffolk trail. Picture: RUN FOR YOUR LIFE

85 runners pictured at Elmer HQ during the Elmer's Big Parade - Suffolk trail. Picture: RUN FOR YOUR LIFE

Archant

The rain failed to dampen the spirits of one group of Suffolk runners - who completed the Elmer's Big Parade art trail in just 80 minutes.

Runners from the Ipswich Run For Your Life group completing Elmer's Big Parade - Suffolk in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice. Picture: RUN FOR YOUR LIFERunners from the Ipswich Run For Your Life group completing Elmer's Big Parade - Suffolk in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice. Picture: RUN FOR YOUR LIFE

In total, 85 runners from the Run For Your Life (RFYL) group took on the ultimate challenge of tracking down all 55 large Elmers and covering 13km - while never leaving a team member behind.

The participants, from groups such as Ipswich Jaffa, Felixstowe Road Runners and the Kesgrave and Rushmere Community Runners, set off from Sailmakers at 6pm on Wednesday, June 19 and ran the trail around the town, raising money for St Elizabeth Hospice.

The run was organised by Sean Connor, the artist behind the RFYL Elmer named Edna, who was dedicated in tribute to former runner Angela Rose who died of breast cancer in February 2019 at St Elizabeth Hospice.

Angela's husband Chris Rose joined in with the race, carrying Angela's toy Edna in his backpack and posing for a picture with the RFYL Elmer on route.

Runners from the Ipswich Run For Your Life group completing Elmer's Big Parade - Suffolk. Picture: RUN FOR YOUR LIFERunners from the Ipswich Run For Your Life group completing Elmer's Big Parade - Suffolk. Picture: RUN FOR YOUR LIFE

Chris said: "I think we shocked the people in the Buttermarket when we all ran up the stairs and through the cinema to see all the Elmers.

"We all stayed together as one big social running group and it took us an hour and 20 minutes before we finished at Lloyds Avenue."

The group visited Edna the Elmer, who was covered in people's running memories along with Edna's description which was written by Angela herself before she passed away.

Edna also features painted nails and a red lipstick in tribute to former RFYL member Angela, and was unveiled for the first time at this year's Suffolk Show.

They ran through the streets of Ipswich on Wednesday, June 19. Picture: RUN FOR YOUR LIFEThey ran through the streets of Ipswich on Wednesday, June 19. Picture: RUN FOR YOUR LIFE

Speaking of the evening, Chris said: "We went round all the larger Elmers and it was amazing - we all got soaked but everyone had a smile on their face.

"As we were already soaked some of us even ran through the water jets on the Cornhill."

Elmer's Big Parade - Suffolk kicked off at the beginning of the week, with many people heading out to complete the trail and raise money on behalf of St Elizabeth Hospice, who have cared for many people's loved ones in their final days, including Angela.

"Angela would definitely have loved it," continued Chris. "I had her toy Edna in a bag on my back, so she was definitely with us while we ran."

The runners came together to complete the Elmer trail in Ipswich. Picture: RUN FOR YOUR LIFEThe runners came together to complete the Elmer trail in Ipswich. Picture: RUN FOR YOUR LIFE

Edna the elephant was also placed next to Rendle the Elmer, which is from Angela's son Jacks' school.

Read more: Chris grants wife's last wish by running London Marathon carrying her ashes

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