Poll: Runners admit defeat as Felixstowe half marathon is scrapped

RUNNERS have admitted defeat in their fight to bring the half marathon back to Felixstowe – but there is renewed hope today that a race will return to the resort.

The half marathon was cancelled last year for the first time in its 24-year history after police and organisers failed to agree on a route for the race. Officers aired major concerns about the safety of competitors running on live roads.

And after coming across similar problems this year, a plan has been hatched by the Felixstowe Road Runners, the organisers of the race, to bring a ten-mile event to the town next year.

Richard Farnworth, chairman of the Felixstowe Road Runners, said organisers have agreed to a scaled-down race and they are hopeful it will be ready for next year.

He said: “We are actively looking to bring the race in – we hope to run the race by 2013.

“We have agreed as a committee that this is where we want to go so the next plan is to have the route measured and get a course certificate.”

It is expected that the route will centre on the seafront and possibly move towards the viewing point area of Felixstowe.

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Mr Farnworth added: “We thought it was best to go down another route and do something else so really it’s a case of forgetting the Felixstowe half and move on and make sure there is a race in Felixstowe.”

Mike Deacon, Felixstowe mayor, is a member of the running club and is excited by the prospect of a new race in the town.

He said: “I am very disappointed that the half marathon can’t happen through no fault of the running club and I applaud the efforts they have made to replace it with the 10 mile race.

“It’s good for the town, it’s good for the running club and it’s good for the people that want to run.”

Felixstowe area Inspector Steve Gallant of Suffolk Police said: “We would love to see a sporting event such as this back in the town. While police do not licence road races such as these, and safe event planning remains the responsibility of the organisers, we hope the proposed new route will meet all the requirements of the relevant authorities, competitors and members of the public who wish to watch the event safely.”