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Ekiden 2023

Sunday 23rd July saw the annual Ellisons Ipswich Ekiden Relay race, hosted by Ipswich JAFFA Running Club. Superbly organised as always, we had a new venue this year at Ipswich High School, providing an impressive backdrop to the race. There were many clubs taking part from all over East Anglia, so lots of competition. The early clouds which threatened rain and promised nicer running conditions soon disappeared and we were left with the usual humidity that we have come to expect every year!

First up were our wonderful Juniors, running 1-mile laps in teams of 4. This year saw us fielding 4 teams between the ages of 8 and 14, with everyone putting in a brilliant effort against some much older and more experienced runners. There were 54 teams taking part in total, with Hadleigh Hares finishing 14th, 28th, 41st & 51st. A very well done to Kyan McNeill, Felix Gunning, Hugo Gunning, Daniel Cooper, Ella Baalham, Finley Smith-Surety, Joel Farmer, Felix Clover, Tom Davis, Alex Collins, Jack Chamberlin, Annelise Bell, Alice Bates, Felicity Bates & Lucy Clover.

It was then the turn of the Seniors. We had 3 teams of 6 competing, with each team covering a total Marathon distance (42.2km/26.2 miles equivalent) broken down into 1 x 7.2km, 3 x 5km & 2 x 10km. The course snaked around the grounds of the school, with each lap being just over 1 ½ miles. Sounds easy but it was quite hard work in the heat!

First off were Adam Chamberlin, Sam Cooper and Ryan McNeill on the odd 7.2km lap before handing over to Crystal Murray, Geraldine Suckling and Fiona Holland for the first of the 5k distances over 2 laps of the course.

The first of the 10k runs then followed, with the 4 laps proving to be harder work! Aden Bell, Belinda Godbold and Jo Sargent were pleased when they had finished and could hand over to Vicky Tapp, Lucy Jay and Deborah Stewart for the next 5k leg. Then followed the final 10k run by Elizabeth Stewart, Katrina Rigby and Neil Holloway before the final 5k run by Joel Bamsey, Maria Ward and Andrew Stewart.

It was a great team effort and out of the 183 teams taking part, Hares finished 50th, 142nd & 166th overall. Everyone agree that it was nice to relax afterwards with a well-deserved ice-cream!


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