Records smashed by action-packed Twilight 5k event in Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 12:54 13 May 2018 | UPDATED: 13:33 13 May 2018
Hundreds of people laced up their running shoes to take part in the Ipswich Twilight 5k extravaganza - with four elite athletes smashing a British record.
Runners were watched by crowds of people lining the route on Saturday, which looped around the Waterfront.
Six action-packed events, including the Daily Mile wave involving scores of children, drew bumper audiences.
The adrenalin-pumping elite race, for those runners capable of finishing the route in under 20 minutes, was won by Belgrave Harriers athlete Nick Goolab.
He crossed the line in 13 minutes 50 seconds – beating a previous British record of 14 minutes for the current fastest 5k road race.
Three others also managed to smash the record, also finishing under 15 minutes.
Richard Allen, of Aldershot Farnham and District, recorded a time of 13 minutes and 51 seconds, while Adam Hickey of Southend Athletics Club finished in 13 minutes and 54 seconds.
Adam Clarke, also of Aldershot, Farnham and District, crossed the line in 13 minutes and 57 seconds.
Race director Carl Ashton said the races were “fantastic” – and attracted a host of runners from across the country, with many top flight athletes taking part.
“It went really well and I could not be much happier with the whole event,” he added.
“We had some really fast times and that was what we were looking for. It was fantastic.
“We were trying to set the fastest road 5k record in the UK and we achieved that and it was really positive and next year if we get better weather we might even have some really special times set.”
The top three women were Faye Fullerton, of Havering AC, in 16 minutes and one second, Gemma Steel, of Charnwood AC, in 16 minutes and seven seconds, and Jade Williams, of Amman Valley Harriers, in 16 minutes and eight seconds.
Earlier in the day the Daily Mile Wave, part of a national initiative backed by Suffolk County Council, saw around 300 schoolchildren take part.
Half an hour later the Most Active County Family wave commenced – with parents running with their children.
That was followed by teams of three from businesses taking part in the ABP Business Challenge.
To round off the day, three 5k races took place – the first for those aiming to finish in 30 minutes or over, the second for runners completing the distance in 20 to 30 minutes, and finally the elite athletes.
The first race started at 1.45pm and the final one at 7pm.
Gordon Jones, SCC’s cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills, said: “I am a great believer in the Daily Mile and local schools doing it and it helps to address any obesity issues which is a factor these days.
“Young people are increasingly spending time on their devices and it’s good to get them out into the fresh air and to take exercise and the Daily Mile is a good way of doing that.”
Meanwhile, Mr Ashton said the event helped to put Ipswich on the running map and a lot of athletes round the country would be taking a close look at the race.
“Runners came from all over the country and having it on the Waterfront was a bonus which made it a faster course and from my point of view I was really pleased with the day,” he said.
“It takes a lot of effort to plan these things and I was pleased that people came out and took part in the races and took their first steps in doing some racing.”