Athletes get set for new Bungay Festival of Running

Bungay Black Dog Running Club Marathon 2014The Half Marathon

Bungay Black Dog Running Club Marathon 2014The Half Marathon - Credit: Nick Butcher

Runners of all ages and abilities will be pounding the streets of Bungay this weekend with each one looking to achieve their own personal best.

The newly-named Bungay Festival of Running takes place on Sunday with a fun run, 10k, half marathon and full marathon taking place throughout the day.

The event began as the Bungay Marathon Day more than 30 years ago following the success of the inaugural London Marathon in 1981.

More than 1,000 people are expected to line up for the races with family, friends and supporters expected to cheer them on along the route.

Organised by the Bungay Black Dog Running Club, the event has attracted seasoned athletes as well as complete novices.

Over the years, the route has changed slightly with the record for the old course held by Jonas Ericisson of Stockholm, Sweden, who ran the marathon in 2:29:03 in 1985 while Carl Prewer from Lowestoft Road Runners set the record for the new course in 2011 with a time of 2:42:56.

The events start at the Maltings Pavilion in Ditchingham, with the marathon course made up of two 13.1 mile loops through the Waveney Valley of Suffolk and Norfolk, and one lap for the half marathon. The course passes through Bungay and on to Beccles before returning via Gillingham and Geldeston.

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The 10k race starts from the same site and continues on the same route as the longer races, before turning left around the 4k mark and heading past Ellingham Mill before joining the half marathon route for the final 3k home stretch.

The marathon starts at 9am, the fun run at 10am and the 10k and half marathon runners head off at 11am.

Road closures will be in place, but should end by 2.30pm.

The event has been backed by many local individuals and businesses some of whom are sponsoring the mile markers around the route.

Michelle Steele, from Earsham Street Deli which has sponsored the two-mile marker, said: “It’s a great way to be involved in something that is such a wonderful event for Bungay. I won’t be running myself but I’ll be cheering everyone along the route.”

Proceeds from the event will be split between the running club and the NSPCC and everyone is invited to attend and show their support along the route and at the finishing line.

Do you have a Bungay story? Email or call 01502 712060.