Orwell Challenge hailed a 'tremendous success' as it make its return
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
Runners and walkers felt a huge sense of achievement as they completed the Orwell Challenge between Ipswich and Felixstowe this weekend.
Organised by the Ipswich East Rotary Club, participants set off from the Gainsborough Sports Centre on Sunday morning on three routes of 13, 19 and 25 miles as the event made its return after being cancelled last year due to Covid.
The routes took participants along the riverbank of the Orwell towards the outskirts of Felixstowe and back into Ipswich.
The Orwell Challenge was one of many events that fell victim to the Covid pandemic last summer, the Ipswich East Rotary Club's John Button said the community was delighted to see it return in 2021.
He said 900 participants had raised an estimated £100,000 for charities between them after being sponsored to walk or run in the challenge.
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Mr Button said: "It's been absolutely fantastic today - it's been a great success.
"We've had around 900 people take part. Around 800 signed up beforehand, but we think a lot of people looked out the window this morning as saw that it was dry.
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"Everybody has been so supportive. I want to say thank you to team that has made this a tremendous success, but also to the community for turning up and cheering on. Without them, there wouldn't be an Orwell Challenge."
Ipswich MP Tom Hunt also took part in the event, joining members of the town's Bangladeshi community to raise money for BSC Multicultural Services.
"It was great weather for a long walk and brilliant to see so much stunning Suffolk countryside, some of which I hadn't seen before," he said.
"It was also very nice to meet so many other runners and walkers from Ipswich, all raising money for great and worthy causes.
"I want to extend my congratulations to the Rotary Club of Ipswich East and its volunteers for pulling together such a successful event, where thousands will have been raised for hugely important organisations carrying out invaluable work across the town and county."