Sun shines on Ipswich as thousands cross the finish at the Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon
17 September 2023
17 September 2023
The streets of Ipswich came alive today as thousands of runners, supporters and spectators came together to celebrate this year’s Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon.
A hugely popular, inclusive and supported race for participants of all abilities, fun runners, fundraisers and club runners took to the start line at 9.30am this morning for the 13.1-mile challenge.
The day saw all corners of the city come out to show their support, from running clubs, spectators, volunteers, schools and universities, the event highlighted the incredible communities in and around the city of Suffolk.
Starting at Portman Road Stadium, home of Ipswich Town FC, the route followed a scenic course that took runners via Ipswich Town Centre, before heading through Holywell’s Park and along Ipswich Marina.
Runners then headed out along Wherstead Road towards The Strand, before heading up Freston Hill and completing a loop around Freston Village.
Retracing their steps towards Hawes Street, Vernon Street, Bridge Street, Grafton Way and Commercial Road, runners then made their way onto Portman Road and Sir Alf Ramsey Way, before heading back to Portman Road Stadium for the big finish.
As part of the event, runners had been encouraged to fundraise for their own charity of choice or one of the event’s partner charities. This year’s partner charities include; the Jane Tomlinson Appeal, St Elizabeth Hospice, Lighthouse Women’s Aid, Fresh Start New Beginnings, Home Start, Families Together Suffolk, Future Stars charity, Ipswich Town Foundation, Suffolk Libraries and Suffolk Mind.
Not just a route with something for everyone to appreciate, runners who completed the challenge received a goody bag of rewards, including post-run treats and a hard-earned bespoke medal for them to remember the day.
A standout moment of the day, John Thurkettle, who was unable to finish last year’s event, joined us at the start line and took on the final two miles of today’s half marathon.
At mile 11 of last October’s Ipswich Half Marathon, John collapsed due to cardiac arrest. Kevin Ward noticed that John was in distress and performed CPR immediately, along with fellow runners Ben Solway and David Smith.
The runners managed to revive John before paramedics arrived at the scene to take him to hospital.
Following the event, John has since undergone surgery which he is recovering well from, recently returning to work on a part-time basis.
The family of John Thurkettle said: “It’s difficult for us to put into words the importance that CPR can play when saving a loved one. To put it bluntly, without the heroic and timely actions of all involved, we wouldn’t have our dad with us now. We can never repay what they have collectively done for us.
“CPR rates in the UK lag significantly behind other developed countries; ~22% of the UK are confident enough to start CPR on a stranger vs ~73% in Norway. This plays a huge factor in the survival rates between the two countries and the difference comes down to when/if we learn CPR and how often we re-visit the training. The other key factor is the speed of the response. Chances of survival drop ~10% for every minute of delay.
“Learning CPR has never been easier, there are plenty of resources, including onsite training from the Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS) or East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) teams, or even online videos where you can learn CPR from the comfort of your own home. There are even mobile phone apps that can help you with CPR and locating public defibrillators.
“The one question I would encourage everyone to ask themselves is: If a friend or family required CPR, would you be confident in providing it? If the answer is no, please seek out training. The hope is that you will never need to rely on it, but should you need to, you’re better positioned to save a life.”
First male across the finish line was Hassan Ahdich in a time of 01:12:37. Andrew Risk took second place in 01:12:48 with Christopher Poulding in third in 01:18:13.
Daisy Brooke was the first woman across the finish line in 01:26:21 followed by Hayley Magill who clocked 01:28:54 for second spot and Georgia Humphreys who took third in 01:30:05
Tristan Batley-Kyle, Operations Director at Run For All said: “We want to say a huge well done and thank you to all our participants who joined us today. We also want to say a huge thank you to John for joining us this morning.
“John’s story shows the importance of quick-thinking, learning valuable life skills and the sense of community at these events.”
“The enthusiasm and support from everyone involved, from the participants themselves to the many spectators, sponsors, partners and volunteers, all ensured the day was a fantastic success.”
“We already can’t wait to return next year and hope to see runners of all abilities on the start line once again.”
Graham Mummery, partner at Larking Gowen said “We're proud to be the headline sponsors of the Ipswich Half marathon. Congratulations to all the inspiring runners and fundraisers, and we can't wait to see you back on the course next year!
The event’s official sponsors include Larking Gowen, Ipswich Town Football Club, Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk County Council, Ipswich Fit, Ipswich Jaffa Running Club, High 5, Coopah and Arla Protein, Shokz and Marathon Photos.
Entries for next year’s Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon, taking place on 22nd September 2024 is now open.
Potential participants are encouraged to visit www.runforall.com for a limited time only discounted offer.