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Parkrun record tumbles as keen runners enjoy New Year’s Day at Felixstowe

PUBLISHED: 12:25 04 January 2019 | UPDATED: 12:25 04 January 2019

Runners hit the streets of Felixstowe Picture: SIMON HOWLETT

Runners hit the streets of Felixstowe Picture: SIMON HOWLETT

Archant

People just love visiting Felixstowe – and runners find the seafront just the perfect place to stretch their legs.

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

On New Year’s Day the town’s parkrun event smashed the record for the number of people taking part.

It attracted 671 runners, setting a new single event attendance record. The previous record was 458.

It made it the biggest event in Suffolk.

Hundreds regularly turn up on a Saturday morning for the five-mile run – gathering at the pier and setting off towards the end of the pier in one direction, running back to the pierhead and past it to the other end of the prom and then back to the pier to finish.

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

Entrants run for the exercise and to better their own times – and often round off the morning with a coffee and time to chat at the Boardwalk on the pier.

Sarah Fitch, the event director for Felixstowe, said she had been pleased with the uptake on New Year’s Day.

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

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

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

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.

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

“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.

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

“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.

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

Many runners opted to do a double parkrun and took part in two events Picture: SIMON HOWLETTMany runners opted to do a double parkrun and took part in two events Picture: SIMON HOWLETT

Preparations for New Years' Day have been underway since September Picture: SIMON HOWLETTPreparations for New Years' Day have been underway since September Picture: SIMON HOWLETT

Parkrun records have been broken across the county Picture: SIMON HOWLETTParkrun records have been broken across the county Picture: SIMON HOWLETT

Organisers were pleased with the turnout to Suffolk's parkruns on New Years' Day Picture: SIMON HOWLETTOrganisers were pleased with the turnout to Suffolk's parkruns on New Years' Day Picture: SIMON HOWLETT

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