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Suffolk runners break parkrun records on New Years’ Day

PUBLISHED: 19:30 02 January 2019 | UPDATED: 09:00 03 January 2019

Runners hit the streets of Felixstowe Picture: SIMON HOWLETT

Runners hit the streets of Felixstowe Picture: SIMON HOWLETT

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Runners in Suffolk broke a number of local parkrun records on New Years’ Day.

Some runners dressed up for a New Year run Picture: SIMON HOWLETTSome runners dressed up for a New Year run Picture: SIMON HOWLETT

Eight out of Suffolk’s 10 parkruns ran special New Years’ Day events with runs starting at different times.

The staggered start meant that runners in some areas were able to take part in two events on the same day, earning themselves extra credit and helping to bolster runner numbers.

Felixstowe’s New Years’ Day run attracted 671 runners setting a new single event attendance record. The previous record was 458.

“We knew that New Years’ Day was going to be popular,” said Rory Marriott the event organiser for the Ipswich junior parkrun.

Parkrun attendees power towards the finish line Picture: SIMON HOWLETTParkrun attendees power towards the finish line Picture: SIMON HOWLETT

“It’s the only occasion when runners can get a credit for running two park runs on the same day.

“It was a little bit crazy and the numbers were astronomical.

“It’s just the case now that we have become part of people’s routines.

In total 2,648 people took part in the events across Suffolk, breaking the record for most runners doing parkrun in a single day in Suffolk by 519.

Runners enjoying fine weather on Felixstowe promenade Picture: SIMON HOWLETTRunners enjoying fine weather on Felixstowe promenade Picture: SIMON HOWLETT

A number of other individual events broke records as well with Brandon and Lowestoft reaching record numbers of 442 and 521 runners respectively.

The Lowestoft number was so high that it too broke the highest attendance for a single event, making it the second largest event ever in Suffolk.

The numbers are a stark contrast from the first parkrun to take place in Suffolk which was in Ipswich in 2012 where only 79 runners attended.

Mr Marriott said that the high turnout was helped by the double credit on offer as well as the good weather.

Runners enjoying the first parkrun of 2019 in Felixstowe Picture: SIMON HOWLETTRunners enjoying the first parkrun of 2019 in Felixstowe Picture: SIMON HOWLETT

Events in Ipswich and Kesgrave were timed to allow runners to head for Felixstowe afterwards.

Planning for the New Year’s Day event had been underway since September with extra running marshals being put in place on the day to ensure that the Felixstowe route could manage with the number of runners.

“We wanted to ensure that whatever happened we could cope with it,” said Mr Marriott.

Sarah Fitch, the event director for Felixstowe said she had been pleased with the uptake on the day.

Hundreds of runners took part in the parkrun events across Suffolk on New Years' Day Picture: SIMON HOWLETTHundreds of runners took part in the parkrun events across Suffolk on New Years' Day Picture: SIMON HOWLETT

“It has been a lot of work but we were ready and it was worth it.”

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