Number of runners pounding the streets of Suffolk on a weekly basis has doubled

Runners take part in the Ipswich parkrun in Christchurch Park. Photograph Simon Parker

Runners take part in the Ipswich parkrun in Christchurch Park. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

The number of people who run for at least 30 minutes every week has doubled in a decade in Suffolk, research has revealed.

A total of 27,300 people went out for at least one 30-minute jog or run per week in the county in the final quarter of last year, according to the latest Sport England’s Active People Survey.

The figure is around twice as many as the first Active People Survey in 2005, according to an analysis of the research carried out by Suffolk Sport.

The study also found the number of people running for at least 30 minutes once a week has increased by 1,900 in the last 12 months alone.

Tania Spurling, local club and coach support officer at England Athletics, said an “excellent network” of 48 running clubs in Suffolk have been instrumental in improving fitness and wellbeing levels.

She said: “The growth in participation in running and athletics across Suffolk over the past year is excellent news and is reflected by the ever increasing opportunities available through athletics clubs, running groups and participation events across the county.

“Suffolk is fortunate to have an excellent network of clubs, volunteers, running group leaders and event organisers whose proactive approach has been instrumental in developing the vast range of opportunities currently available for people across the county to take part in athletics.” Linda Young, who takes part in Ipswich parkrun, a popular 5k run currently being held at Christchurch Park on Saturdays, said the initiative has been “life-changing” for her family.

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Ms Young, of Didsbury Close, Ipswich, said: “We are more sociable because we have discovered a running community that we didn’t know existed and our children are getting more exercise.”