With a new men’s record set on the 20-mile course and many of the full-to-the-brim field of 800 singing the praises of the organisers and volunteers, this year’s Tarpley road races were clearly successful all-round.
The St Edmund Pacers’ event, two simultaneous runs of 10 and 20 miles, has established a healthy reputation on the running calendar and attracted a strong field from across the region.
In the 20-mile race, it was clear from his blistering early pace that BRJ Huntingdon club runner David Hudson was intent on taking home not just first place, but also the £100 cash prize that went along with his record-breaking time of 1:51:24.
In the same race, Sudbury Joggers’ Kieran Hayles led home the local runners in 2:05:35, with Newmarket’s Gordon Irvine (2:10:33) close behind and Matthew Crane the first of the Bury Pacers in 2:17:10.
In the women’s race, Jess Gooderham was the first St Edmund Pacer over the line, clocking 2:43:03.
The 10-mile men’s race was won by Springfield Strider James Smith in 55:30, closely followed by team-mate Mark Newton. Stowmarket Strider’s James Hayward, finishing in 57:53 was the fastest among those in local club colours.
Tom Kingsnorth of St Edmund Pacers was again in fine form, securing eight with a time of 1:00:07, just a few places ahead of category winning Pacers veteran Howard Beasley, finishing in an impressive 1:03:43. Also a category winner, Joanna Woledge was the first Pacers woman home in 1:09:12.
“I have had an unbelievable number of emails from runners,” said Claire Hoblyn, race director. “They told me how much they enjoyed the event.”
More than 300 runners completed the 20-mile race, setting out from Beyton before winding their way through country lanes that allowed them to enjoy the charms of Felsham, Thorpe Morieux, Gedding Hall and Drinkstone.