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HARP24 Runners Brave the Storm To Help Beat Homelessness

This weekend 230 runners took on our annual HARP24 race in treacherous overnight conditions, completing a combined 1,153 laps in Essex’s very own 24-hour running festival.

Runners undertook the continuous 5 mile lap around the beautiful Cherry Orchard Country Park over a 24-hour period, taking on the race solo or as part of a team to complete the most laps for a coveted HARP24 trophy.

The event, which has been postponed for two years running due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is usually blessed with excellent conditions. However, as storms came in overnight on Saturday, we were forced to take the difficult decision to pause the race.

Despite losing six hours, an incredible 5,765 miles were covered by the runners, which is the distance from the race base at Westcliff Rugby Club to Nakhon Sawan near Bangkok in Thailand!

The event has raised an impressive £11,000 to support the local homelessness services operated by HARP, and the money is still rolling in.

Dina Jobson, HARP’s Head of Fundraising said: “It’s always so fulfilling to have so many runners and volunteers come together to make HARP24 a success. The energy is high from the moment participants arrive until they leave over 24-hours later. Runners and volunteers alike are upbeat and motivated, even in the early hours of the morning when fatigue has kicked in. It’s so inspiring!”

She continued: “This year, we had spectacularly stormy conditions overnight and had to make the difficult decision to stop runners going out on to the course from 11pm on the Saturday, resuming at 5am on the Sunday morning after a course safety check. All of the runners were very understanding and, as we lost six hours, 2022’s edition will forever be known amongst the running community as HARP18!”

HARP24 is a unique event welcoming all abilities from ultra-marathoners to fun runners, with winners in a range of categories.

The Female Solo Winner 2022 is Sam Keenan with 15 laps and 75 miles completed, and the Male Solo Winner 2022 is David Church with 19 laps and 95 miles completed.

We want to say a huge thank you to all of the incredible people that came down over the weekend to help us, everyone who ran in this year's race, both adults and children, as well as those that helped support HARP24 including: One Stop, Morrison’s, Waitrose, Co-op Sutton Road, Leigh Skips, The Finish Line Fund, Fairfield Farms, ASDA, Ipeco, Mark One Hire, Belfairs Leisure Centre, Call of the Wild, Leigh-on-Sea Striders, Gaz De Vere, Kim Tobin, The Royal Hotel, Westcliff Rugby Club, and of course all of the wonderful volunteers who helped out over the weekend!

You can see the results of the race here, and photos here.


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