With so many outdoor events cancelled for a second year, it’s great to hear news of one which is most definitely on!
Organisers of The Orwell Challenge, Suffolk’s largest multi-charity fundraiser, say it will be taking place this year on Sunday 27 June. Hosted by Ipswich East Rotary Club, they have built in a caveat of a second later date – Sunday 11 July – just in case they do have to move the date back as we head into the summer months.
Co-ordinator for the Orwell Challenge Rotarian John Button explains: “We do have a contingency date but sincerely hope to keep to the original date. We are using Gainsborough Sports Centre as our HQ as we have done now for several years. Registrations will take place outside this year to ensure its Covid-safe and our volunteer organisers will be socially distanced and have the necessary PPE.”
The route takes in many parts of the attractive shoreline of the Orwell Estuary and through the nearby woodland, some of which is private land and only accessible on this one special day. You can choose to either walk or run with the runners leaving early in the morning ahead of the walkers. There are three routes of different lengths, but walkers can complete any distance between three miles to 25 miles.
For runners, there’s a fully accredited marathon or half marathon trail run route with clock-timed start and finish. Runners will receive a medal and t-shirt as part of their entrance fee of just £34 (£24 for the half marathon). All participants will receive an official Orwell Challenge completion certificate and walkers will receive an Orwell Challenge Medal. The registration fee for walkers is £15 and just £5 for ages 12 and under.
John continued: “Runners will leave from 7am and walkers from 7.30am through to 11am. Whether running or walking there will be manned checkpoints every few miles along the route with refreshments provided. You decide just how far you wish to run or walk. Once you’ve gone as far as you can, we will provide a free lift back to headquarters.”
After expenses, the registration fee goes to help a variety of local Suffolk charities and is distributed via Ipswich East Rotary Club who have organised the event for over 40 years.
“We are delighted our main sponsor for 2021 is once again the East of England Co-op,” says John. “Please do join us and help to raise vital funds for many local charities.”
It’s simple to enter the Orwell Challenge; just go to: www.orwellchallenge.co.uk