Spectators urged to line the streets for first ever Ipswich Twilight road race on Friday night

Great Britain's Chris Thompson at Tower Bridge

Great Britain's Chris Thompson at Tower Bridge - Credit: PA

A major new event in Suffolk’s sporting calendar will be held in the centre of Ipswich tomorrow evening – and people are being urged to line the streets to show their support.

Gemma Kersey

Gemma Kersey - Credit: PA

Two road races, including an elite 5k featuring international athletes, will be held from 7pm.

The Twilight 5k will be followed by a mass participation Twilight 10k, featuring around 750 runners.

It has been organised by Ipswich JAFFA Running Club, and people are being encouraged to come and support friends, family and the elite runners who will be pounding the streets.

Race director Carl Ashton said it was hoped the event, which is sponsored by Ipswich Building Society, would be an exciting event for the town.

Members of Jaffa running club, Carl Ashton and Clive sparkes, with Paul Winter of Ipswich building s

Members of Jaffa running club, Carl Ashton and Clive sparkes, with Paul Winter of Ipswich building society title spencer of The Twilight Road Races with GB athlete Helen Davies

“The 5km has an impressive line-up of international runners and the 10k will see the masses take to a flat town centre course passing some of the town’s most iconic buildings, including passing through Ipswich Town’s Portman Road Stadium,” he said.

“So even if you are not running, come and support the those taking part in the races, we’d love to see the route lined with people cheering on the runners.”

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The 5k will start at 7pm and has attracted a collection of top athletes, the entry time being a minimum of 20 minutes for men and 22 minutes for women.

Among them is Chris Thompson, a silver medal winner in the 10,000 metres at the 2010 European Athletic Championships behind Olympic star Mo Farah.

On the men’s side he will be joined by Adam Hickey, Ryan McLeod, Aaron Scott, Andrew Heyes and Jonathan Davies.

The women competing are Jessica Coulson, Lauren Howarth, Stacey Ward, Rebecca Murray, Bryony Proctor and Gemma Kersey.

The 10km race, starting at 7.30pm, will be a mass participation event for anyone who wants to try and beat the sunset.

Mr Ashton added having international standard runners at the event would raise its profile.

“This race gives an opportunity to put the town on the map for road running whilst showcasing what a wonderful place Ipswich is to visit and stay,” he said.

Paul Winter, CEO of Ipswich Building Society, urged people to get behind the runners. He said: “I’m sure there will be a fantastic atmosphere so anyone who is thinking about taking part should sign up now and I hope to see lots of spectators cheering us on.

“From the vibrant waterfront, to its rich and colourful history, Ipswich has a lot to offer. The Twilight Run is a celebration of our county town, bringing people together to pass many of our iconic buildings, whether they are a seasoned road runner or a complete novice.”

“As a keen runner myself, I’m really looking forward to taking part.”

If you would like to enter the 10k, you can do so via their website

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