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Taking strides to end homelessness

This image shows the sun set with dramatic clouds over the silhouette of tents and marquees
Sunset on site at HARP24 - Photo by Kim Tobin

Last weekend saw over 360 runners striding out to end homelessness at HARP24 the 24-hour endurance race organised by HARP, Southend’s Homeless charity. 

Now in its 11th year, the event was opened by the Mayor of Southend and a mixture of solo and team runners took part. A staggering 1803 laps of the continuous 5-mile course around the beautiful Cherry Orchard Country Park were completed over 24 hours.

An incredible 9015 miles were covered by the runners, which is the distance from the race base at Westcliff Rugby Club to Los Angeles, California.

Money is still coming in but to date, the event has raised over £20,000 for HARP’s work supporting people to overcome homelessness in Southend.

New for this year was HARP2.4 a junior event for aspiring young fundraisers.

This image shows a young girl wearing a rain mac with zebras on it. She is looking up at the camera and has a HARP2point4 medal hanging around her neck
HARP2point4 runner with her medal - Photo by Gaz de Vere

Agata Elliott, HARP’s Director of Fundraising said: “It is always amazing to see runners and volunteers come together every year to make HARP24 a success. The positivity and energy from participants over the 24-hour challenge is inspiring. This is the most runners the event has ever had and we’re looking forward to welcoming runners back next year. A particular thanks to everyone  who took part and to the local companies that have supported the event including IPECO, Westcliff Rugby Club, Mark One Hire and S. Stibbards & Sons.”

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

Ian bannerman and Eren Muduroglu tied with each completing 21 laps over the 24-hours but the overall Male Solo Runner award went to Eren who completed his laps in the least time. The Female Solo runner winner was Kelly Unett completing 16 laps.

BBC Essex presenters Ian Wyatt and Steve Scruton gave encouragement and commentary for the first few laps as well as speaking to some of the runners. Ian who presents BBC Essex Sport Extra spoke with both winners along with Gabriel Flores, who has won the event twice before, on his Monday evening radio show. You can listen by clicking the button below, the feature can be found at time reference 23:14.

The full list of 2024’s HARP24 Champions is as follows:

·       Winner Mixed Team 9-12 runners – Stibbards Strollers    21 Laps

·       Winner Mixed Team 6-8 runners – Bunch of Lyres            31 Laps

·       Winner Mixed Team 3-5 runners – On a Lactic Acid Trip  32 Laps

·       Winner Mixed Duo – Two Cats                                           11 Laps

·       Winner Female runner aged 16 –34 - Kelly Worboys         13 Laps

·       Winner Female runner aged 35-39 - Kelly Unett               16 Laps

·       Winner Female runner 36- 40 - Beverley Gibbs                 15 Laps

·       Winner Female runner 41-45 - Kerry Davis                        12 Laps

·       Winner Female runner 46-50 - Vicki Almond                     14 Laps

·       Winner Female runner 51-55 - Tracy Sodeau                    12 Laps

·       Winner Female runner 56-60 - Anne Purdham                  12 Laps

·       Winner Female runner 61-65 - Elaine Oddie                      11 Laps

·       Winner Female runner 66-75 - Pamela Storey                  6 Laps

·       Winner Female Team 6-8 runners - Fordy Runners 1        25 Laps

·       Winner Male runner 16-34 Frankie Wheeler                      13 Laps

·       Winner Male runner aged 35-39 – Ian Bannerman            21 Laps

·       Winner Male runner 36- 40 – Jack Spurling                      17 Laps

·       Winner Male runner 41-45 – Gabriel Flores                       15 Laps

·       Winner Male runner 46-50 – James Price                         18 Laps

·       Winner Male runner 51-55 – Eren Muduroglu                   21 Laps

·       Winner Male runner 56-60 – Richard Moore                     14 Laps

·       Winner Male runner 66-75 – Arthur Brooks                       13 Laps

·       Winner Male Duo – The Mud Brothers                               28 Laps

·       Winner Male Team 3-5 runners Sneaky Striders               31 Laps

HARP plans to launch registrations for 2025’s event soon.


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