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Suffolk running club to hold 10k race in memory of late chairman in Thurston




More than 400 runners from across the region will take part in a 10k race this weekend in Suffolk in memory of former Saint Edmunds Pacers chairman, Stephen Williams.

Stephen was a well-respected and much-loved figure in Bury St Edmunds, but died last year after a battle with illness, aged 66.

Runners will now gather at Thurston Rugby Club to honour his life in a 10k road race to raise money for Stephen's chosen charity, Sarcoma UK.

Saint Edmunds Pacers gather before running to the funeral of Stephen Williams last year.
Saint Edmunds Pacers gather before running to the funeral of Stephen Williams last year.

Chris Mower, the now-chairman of the club, said: "Stephen was the chair of the club for many years and he was an inspiration to all of the members.

"Quite often when he had an operation he would be back on the track within a couple of days. He had a really big impact on the club.

"A lot of success of the club has been down to Steve over the last 10 to 12 years."

Saint Edmund Pacers Junior Performance of The Year Award, presented by chairman Stephen Williams
Saint Edmund Pacers Junior Performance of The Year Award, presented by chairman Stephen Williams

Alongside his commitments to the running club, Stephen was a member of the West Suffolk Wheelers and West Suffolk Motorsport Club. He also volunteered and participated in the Nowton Park parkrun.

The event was due to take place earlier this year, but was postponed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We have had to be very careful with the Covid restrictions," said Chris.

Stephen Williams (184).
Stephen Williams (184).

"We operate under England Athletics, so they have got the guidelines to be able to run training and races, while we do the risk assessments to make things Covid secure.

"All the paperwork is something that as a club we have had to deal with over the last year already, but this is the first race that we have organised under the restrictions."

The running club did look to host the event in Bury, but due to the pandemic and the amount of runners set to take part, the rugby club in Thurston was chosen to the size of the grounds.

Stephen's wife and family will also be in attendance, with the race due to begin at 10am.

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