Bungay Black Dogs host Festival of Running – with more new challenges

The start of the 34th Bungay Black Dog Marathon.Picture: James Bass

The start of the 34th Bungay Black Dog Marathon.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Runners from many parts of the country will converge on Bungay on Sunday for the annual Festival of Running, staged by the Black Dog Running Club.

It will incorporate the Bungay Black Dog Marathon, established back in 1982, and the half-marathon, but the day now also includes a 10k race, and for the first time this year, those running the 10k can opt to also run the half-marathon as well – a 30k distance in all.

Race director Bob Paul said: 'The Bungay Marathon is a long established event, and was established earlier than many of the now familiar big city marathons. This is the 36th, and with over 1,000 entries it promises to be our biggest yet, so good luck to all runners, and thank you to all helpers.'

He said roads in the area would be closed at the starts, and when there were a lot of runners passing through, but they would allow access for residents wherever possible.

Last year's full marathon winner was Andy Kett, of North Norfolk Beach Runners, with Kim Lo of Haward's Heath Harriers the ladies' champion, but neither is defending their title this time. However, both half-marathon winners, Robert Chenery of Ipswich Jaffa and Joanne Cox, of the host Black Dog club, will be lining up at the start.

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The race takes runners through Bungay town centre and out to Beccles on a picturesque course either side of the River Waveney via Mettingham, Shipmeadow and Barsham, and then from Beccles via Gillingham, Geldeston, Ellingham and Broome.

As in previous years the event is supporting the local branch of the NSPCC and Bungay Area Community Transport – the latter will be providing transport to and from race HQ – and Norfolk & Suffolk 4x4 Rapid Response will be rescuing runners on the course if necessary. The full marathon starts at 9am, the 10k at 9.30am and the half-marathon at 11am. The day also includes a family fun run, with entries on the day.

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Full changing and refreshment facilities will be available at the Malting Meadow site and in the Maltings Pavilion. Massage facilities will also be available before and after races. The Town Reeve of Bungay, Stephen Went, and the Mayor of Bungay, Mary Matthews, will start the races and present awards.

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