HARWICH'S historic half-marathon has returned for the first time in more than 30 years.

The Mayflower 400 Harwich Half Marathon took place on Sunday to commemorate the anniversary of the pilgrim fathers' journey to America.

It is the first time the event has taken place since 1991.

The event, which was a sell out with more than 1,350 runners, was a joint venture between the Rotary Club of Harwich and Dovercourt and Harwich Runners.

It was initially planned to take place in 2020, but had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The race was staged on closed roads, covering much of the original route and taking in many of the historic sights of Harwich.

The first marathon was organised by Harwich Round Table in 1982, bringing almost a thousand runners and spectators out on the streets.

Former Standard reporter Neil Thomas was one of those taking part in the event this year.

He said: "The event struck a chord with me as I had taken part in the original Harwich Half in 1982.

"In those days I was a reporter on the Standard and my editor cajoled me into taking part on the basis that I was 'young and interested in sport'.

"Thanks to the 1982 results helpfully reproduced on the Harwich Runners website I discovered my finish time then was 2 hours 20-odd. My aim was to better that. I may be a lot older but these days I run more regularly.

"My memories of the first event are a little fuzzy, but I fondly recall the folk of Harwich and Dovercourt lining the roads in support.

"The route may have changed but the atmosphere hasn’t - incredible support for all runners from start to finish.

"I did manage to better my 1982 finish time despite all the years in between."


Men: 1) Jordan Middlemist (Colchester Harriers) 1:12:39.58; 2) Tony Gavin (Felixstowe Road Runners) 1:14:35.91; 3) Tom Cresswell (Colchester Harriers) 1:16:15.24. Women: 1) Heidi Steele (Colchester Harriers) 1:23:26.13; 2) Jessie Gooderham (Saint Edmunds Pacers) 1:24:30.96; 3)Samantha Bilbie (Springfield Striders) 1:25:41.42.

For the full results, go to harwichrunners.co.uk/halfmarathon/results/2022.php.