Felixstowe: Charities will be hit if half marathon is cancelled

CHARITIES are set to lose out to the tune of thousands of pounds if the Felixstowe half marathon cannot be saved.

Police have told organisers Felixstowe Road Runners that the current course is not safe for 500 entrants because roads cannot be closed and traffic still uses them during the race.

The Evening Star has been trying to help find a solution to the crisis – and police chief Steve Gallant has agreed to meet club officials to see if an alternative race route can be found.

Time is running out though and agreement would need to be reached fast if this year’s event is still to go ahead.

Although not the main aim of the event, last year’s half marathon raised a substantial sum for charity, including �2,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease charity, and over the years much more has been given out to good causes.

“The race has been run for the past 25 years and in the last few years it has raised over �3,000 for charity, every year,” said a club spokesman.

“This total reflects the donations from the running club and excludes what individuals may have raised while taking part.”

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It is hoped a meeting can be set up soon between Insp Gallant and officers from the club to sit round a map and looked at possible alternative 13-mile circuits.

Insp Gallant has indicated that road closures would be possible on some quieter streets if the route was changed. On the present circuit road closures would seize up the town’s traffic system for three to four hours while the race took place.

He said increases in traffic and the number of runners over the years had made the risk too great.

Felixstowe Road Runners say they have looked at alternatives, including restricting the number of runners and also to bring forward the time of the race to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum, but the police were still not happy. They would be prepared to look at an alternative route.

? Give us your views on the future of the Felixstowe half marathon – write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN, or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk