They Weren't Larking About!
John gets the job done with a little help from the running community...
There were 1,300 finishers in the second successful promotion of Jane Tomlinson's Run For All Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon on Sunday 17 September 2023, plus one from last year! Twelve months ago, John Thurkettle suffered a cardiac arrest two miles from the finish and he donned a Superman T-shirt to complete his race and vowed to return to run the half marathon on Sunday 22 September, 2024.
John was met at the finish by Ipswich Mayor Lynne Mortimer and Ipswich Town FC manager Kieran McKenna and was accompanied during his emotional final two miles by loved ones and the runners who had stopped to save his life in last year's race – Kevin Ward, Ben Solway, and David Smith.
Ipswich Half Marathon was first held more than 40 years ago, with just over 500 finishers, and was revived last year by the Run For All charity organisation with a new headline sponsor Larking Gowen Chartered Accountants with 822 finishers at Portman Road Stadium – home to Ipswich Town FC. Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon is now Suffolk's biggest running event.
The course is a beauty. After a stadium start the runners go through Holywells Park and Ipswich Waterfront for an out-and-back stretch alongside the River Orwell, returning via Wherstead Road for a grandstand finish back at Portman Road Stadium.
This year's winner was under-20 junior Hassan Ahdich (Ipswich Jaffa RC, 1:12:37) by just 11 seconds from Andrew Risk (Victoria Park Harriers, 1:12:48). These two had pulled well clear of third-placed Chris Poulding (St Edmund Pacers, 1:18:13).
Half marathon debutante Daisy Brooke (1:26:21) secured an Ipswich Jaffa double as she won the women's race from unattached runners Hayley Magill (1:28:54) and Georgia Humphreys (1:30:05) – the first finisher outside 90 minutes as 57 athletes ducked under that threshold.
Stephen Moore, who ran 2:24:51 for 1,047th summed up the general feeling of participants when he posted on Facebook: "Great job everyone. It was superb and extremely well organised. Thanks to all involved."
Previous results and reports are at the runABC race listing here.
Photo: Run For All/Ipswich Half Marathon on Facebook