Hundreds of runners ready for Ipswich Half Marathon 2016 on Sunday – Road closures announced

The Ipswich Half Marathon returns on Sunday.

The Ipswich Half Marathon returns on Sunday. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Hundreds of runners will take to the streets of Ipswich on Sunday for the town’s annual half marathon.

Ipswich-Half-Marathon-map

Around 1,400 people have signed up to take part in the Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon, organised by Ipswich JAFFA Running Club, which starts and finishes at Christchurch Park.

The two-lap, 13.1 mile course runs through the town centre and includes landmarks such as Ancient House and Ipswich Museum.

The event is supporting Macmillan’s Woolverstone Support Centre at Ipswich Hospital, thanks to on-the-day fundraising and registration fees.

Race director Carl Ashton said: “We have got fantastic landmarks and a great venue – Christchurch Park. It is a fantastic setting and a lot of other towns and cities don’t have these luxuries.

Nick Williams, who has beaten his own challenge to complete 40 fundraising missions for Macmillan Ca

Nick Williams, who has beaten his own challenge to complete 40 fundraising missions for Macmillan Cancer Care. Pic: Macmillan Cancer Care. - Credit: Archant


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“What that does mean is that our course is quite a challenge and that can be seen as a positive or a negative. We offer something a bit different to runners rather than the bog-standard flat course to get the fastest possible time. But it is a very enjoyable run as there are two laps with lots of opportunities to see people on the course and you pass different places more than once. For people who finish, they can’t wait to come back, which is encouraging for us.”

Prior to the race, which starts at 10am, a free 2km fun run for youngsters will be held again. Children can sign up on the day and enjoy the picturesque route around Christchurch Park.

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Team GB and Olympic race walker Dominic King will also be takeing part.

Mr Ashton added: “I really encourage people if they are not participating to come out and watch because it is quite a great thing to watch.

“There will be a constant flow of runners for a good couple of hours. Lots of people dress up and make a real effort with their costumes.

“It is the first half marathon for a lot of people taking part this year. Because it is their local half marathon and hopefully because we have got a good reputation, they come out and do it. They have never run that distance before and it is great to see them trying to be active.

“I’d also like to thank everyone who is participating or volunteering, and to our sponsors Larking Gowen and Ipswich Borough Council.”

A Larking Gowen spokesman said: “We would like to wish everyone good luck at this weekend’s Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon, and we look forward to challenging our business teams for the winner’s trophy.

“We would also like to invite spectators to come and bid a final farewell to Elvis Porksley from the Pigs Gone Wild trail. St Elizabeth Hospice have given us special permission for Elvis Porksley, who is proudly sponsored by Larking Gowen and Town 102 to be at the event.”

The following road closures have been announced:

Westerfield Road – Between its junctions with Tuddenham Road and Borrowdale Avenue

Tuddenham Road – Between its junctions with Westerfield Road and Borrowdale Avenue

Borrowdale Avenue – Its entire length

Park Road – Its entire length

Soane Street – Its entire length

St Margaret’s Street – Between its junctions with Woodbridge Road and St Matthews Street

Crown Street – Its entire length

Northgate Street – Its entire length

Upper Brook Street – Between its junctions with Buttermarket and Great Coleman Street

Buttermarket – Its entire length

Princes Street – Between its junctions with King Street and Tavern Street

Tavern Street – Between its junctions with Princes Street and Westgate Street

Westgate Street – Between its junctions with Tavern Street and Museum Street

Museum Street – Between its junctions with Westgate Street and Crown Street

High Street – Its entire length

Fonnereau Road – Its entire length

Bridle Way – Its entire length

Henley Road – Between its junctions with Anglesea Road and Elsmere Road

Ivry Street – Its entire length

Paget Road – Between its junctions with Ivry Street and Anglesea Road

Anglesea Road – Between its junctions with Paget Road and Norwich Road

Graham Road – Its entire length

Constitution Hill – Its entire length

Warrington Road – Its entire length

Temporary Prohibition of Waiting

Westerfield Road – Between its junctions with Tuddenham Road and Borrowdale Avenue

Park Road – Its entire length

Soane Street – Its entire length

Ivry Street – Its entire length

Graham Road – Its entire length

Constitution Hill – Its entire length

Meanwhile, an Ipswich paramedic who once weighed over 20 stone is aiming to obliterate last year’s time after taking on over 50 charity challenges in the last 12 months.

Nick Williams, a senior paramedic at the Ipswich Ambulance Station for the East of England Ambulance Service Trust, started a new chapter last year when running the Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon.

He had always struggled to make time for exercise and described the event as the hardest physical challenge of his life. He clocked three hours and 36 minutes.

The experience motivated him to take on 40 challenges in the year he turned 40, which he celebrated in May. He has taken part in the Great East Swim, the Ipswich Hospital Charity Ride and the Ipswich Twilight 10km Race. He has now participated in over 50 challenges and has lost three stone.

Mr Williams has also been fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support after his dad was diagnosed with cancer eight years ago. He has raised over £1,300.

He said: “I was shocked to hear the news. My family have always been there for me and now I felt helpless, that there was nothing I could do. It changed me in many ways.

“My dad has always enjoyed running and for the last four years I’ve joined him on short fun runs. Signing up to the Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon last year was a big step, and since then, I decided to set myself a challenge to celebrate my 40th birthday. I would complete 40 challenges and raise as much sponsorship as possible for Macmillan Cancer Support.”

He is aiming to take at least an hour of last year’s time.

Helen Glenholmes, fundraising manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “There is no stopping Nick and we are immensely grateful for his incredible support.”

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