Gallery: Half marathon was a full challenge

HUNDREDS of runners will be nursing aching limbs today after they took to the streets of Felixstowe for the annual half marathon.

HUNDREDS of runners will be nursing aching limbs today after they took to the streets of Felixstowe for the annual half marathon.

The event attracted a bumper field of 600 entrants for the traditional 13.1-mile challenge yesterday morning.

A remarkable 70 per cent of the field were made up of unaffiliated runners, and there was the unusual situation of two of these unattached athletes winning the individual titles. Usually, races are dominated by club runners.

Race director Annabelle Bennett, who hosts Felixstowe Road Runners said: “I had never worried about reaching the race limit of 600 before, but we were close to having to turn people away this time.

“The interest in this race is astonishing, and it was great to see so many unaffiliated runners taking part.

“There was also a lot of support from spectators, especially along the promenade.”

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With the sun beating down, some walked and some ran the course.

Robert Reason won the men's race in a time of 1hr 17mins 59secs, nearly five minutes adrift of David Miller's time from last year.

Jon Booty, of Witham Running Club, was nearly four minutes behind in the runners-up spot. Booty stopped the clock at 1.21.50, finishing just six seconds ahead of Terry Back, an over-50 veteran from Ipswich JAFFA.

Cheryl Westley, another unaffiliated runner, lifted the ladies' crown in 1.31.46. Kate Beach, a new recruit at Felixstowe Road Runners, registered 1.33.21 in second position, followed by experienced veteran Val Jennings, of Jaffa, who was third in 1.34.14.

This was the 23rd staging of this popular event, which was based at Felixstowe Leisure Centre and sponsored by Mediterranean Shipping Co.

Last year, runners had to contend with strong winds and driving rain, but conditions were far calmer yesterday.

n. Did you achieve a personal goal doing the run? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk