Ipswich JAFFA are staging a virtual edition of the popular Ellisons Ekiden relay race. It is free to enter and will be open to everyone.

This is a community event whose purpose is to encourage people to take part in a fun event, to get some exercise and to fire up their competitive racing spirit. There is the added bonus of the opportunity to raise money for a local charity if you wish.

Our chosen charity is the East Anglia Air Ambulance – but you are free to choose a charity of your own. They saved the life of one of my colleagues which brings in to focus what an important role they play in our community.



Ipswich JAFFA have been staging the only Ekiden held in the UK for over 20 years, and it is now a well established fixture in the local racing calendar. It attracts runners from all over East Anglia, with the 2017 event having a record entry of 200 teams. There is a Junior Ekiden for those aged under 16.

The 26.2 mile race will be run by teams of six as a relay. Legs: 1 x 7.2km, 3 x 5km and 2 x 10km

Club teams and social and business teams are all welcome .

What is a Virtual Ekiden?

The idea is for this to follow the format of the traditional Ellisons JAFFA Ekiden but with greater flexibility to enable as many people as possible to take part. So it will be for teams of 6, running 1 leg of 7.2km, 3 legs of 5km and 2 legs of 10km.

The Junior Race will be for teams of 4 running 4 individual legs of one mile each.

To clarify, each team performance will effectively comprise of a series of individual time trials, so within the team, the legs can be run on different days, and at various locations and times. The only requirement is that they are completed during the designated period.

We will continue with the usual 10 categories (listed below) for seniors, with the prestige available (but sadly no trophies this is a free to enter event after all) for the teams which finish in the Top 3.


For 2020 we continue to welcome support from our main sponsors Elisons Solicitors.



Please register your teams using this online portal.

Event Plan and Rules

Competition Time. Each team has 3 days to complete the challenge. All legs to be completed between 00:01 Friday 10th July to 6 pm Sunday 12th July, with all results to be submitted/uploaded by 7 pm on 12th July.

Entrants – Senior Race A minimum age of 16 applies, however 15 year olds are permitted to run a 5km leg. Age is based on the participants’ age on 12th July 2020.

Teams/Legs – Senior: 6 runners, stages can be completed in any order. Stage distances are:  1 x 7.2 km, 3 x 5km and 2 x 10km

Team categories – Senior:

  • Mens Open
  • Female Open
  • Mixed – a combination of male/female, but with a minimum of 2 female runners
  • Male Vets – men aged 40 +
  • Female Vets – women aged 35 and over on race day
  • Male Supervets – men aged 50 and over
  • Female Supervets – females aged 45 and over
  • 60 + – male/female runners aged 60 and over
  • 70 + male/female runners aged 70 and over
  • Social/Business/Non affiliated

Teams – Senior and Junior – A runner can only run one leg for a team but can participate in more than 1 team

Affiliated teams – all runners must be paid up members of the club at the time of team selection

Team composition – Social/Business/Family and Non-Affiliated

Non-affiliated teams are not obliged to enter in to the Social Category and may enter in to the respective “open” competition if they wish. Teams with 3 or more affiliated athletes should enter the open competition.  

The organisers reserve the right to transfer social teams into the respective “open category” if they feel that the team does not meet the spirit of the non-affiliated “Social” competition.

Junior Race

Teams – 11 and under is for those aged 11 or under on race day.

Teams for 12s + are for those aged under 16 on 12th July 2020. To be clear this category can include runners aged 11 and under, so a mix of age groups

You will need to organise for a parent, responsible sibling or coach, etc to ensure that the juniors complete their 1 mile legs in a safe environment. The escort/supervising can be on foot or bike!

Junior Categories : Boys only, Girls only or Mixed, (mixed teams must have a minimum of 1 of each sex, so can be 3 boys one girl, 2 boys/2 girls or 3 girls and 1 boy)

Validation of performance – Important

Runners are expected to record their run using some form of electronic device so that the performance can be validated. Strava and Garmin are examples of the APPS typically used.

The run should, within small tolerances, start and finish at the same place to eliminate advantages from inclines or wind direction. The simplest form of this is an out and back route.

The run must be alone and comply with Government or other Authorities’ latest instructions or guidelines regarding social distancing etc. You may run on any surface, except treadmills, anti-gravity machines or similar which give an advantage! No dogs.

You are responsible for your own safety and should choose a route which doesn’t compromise that safety or interfere unreasonably with other members of the public, whether on foot or in vehicles.

Pick a route where you are unlikely to suffer from GPS interruption or skewed data. Any ‘strange’ results will be discounted. Your device must register a minimum of the distance of the leg you have entered. The run has to be a single, continuous effort and the elapsed time used.

ResultsUploading times.

The results for the whole team should be submitted by the team captain, preferably in a single email showing the team name and number, and category entered. Please include the individual runner’s name, leg and time with evidence, ie Strava feed

Send your result to results@ipswichekiden.co.uk by 7pm on Sunday 12th July. Please authenticate with attachments if necessary to validate time and confirm the rules above have been complied with.

When complete results will be published on the Ellisons Ekiden website  https://www.ipswichekiden.co.uk/

Safety and Medical Issues

  1. Remember, at all times and in all situations, safety is the most important issue. This means safety for runners, and the general public.
  2. Race rules are designed to provide a safe and fair experience for everyone involved.
  3. The Race Referee has ultimate authority in regards to all rules, their interpretation, and their enforcement.

Online Team Declaration

Team captains can now register with our online portal to declare their teams.

You can make as many changes as you like and the submitted teams prior to race day will be taken as the final team declaration.

You can also see what other teams have entered and search by name, club or category!



2019 Team Results

Men’s Open

  1. Colchester Harriers Senior Men A 2:24:45
  2. Fram Flyers Men Open 2:28:32
  3. Ipswich JAFFA Mens Open A 2:29:34

Ladies Open

  1. Ipswich JAFFA Ladies Open A 2:46:04
  2. Colchester Harriers Senior Ladies A 2:48:23
  3. Hadleigh Hares Womens Open A 3:01:35

Other categories

  • Male Vets – Colchester Harriers M40 A 2:29:51
  • Ladies Vets –  Ipswich JAFFA Ladies Vets A 3:16:36
  • Mens Super Vets – Colchester Harriers M50 A 2:40:52
  • Ladies Super Vets – BUNGAY BLACK DOG TEAM 3 (THE HOT DOGS ) FSV 3:06:41
  • Mixed – Waveney Valley AC A MX 2:33:43
  • Over 60s – NNBR Young Ones – 60s 3:21:50
  • Over 70s – St Edmund Pacers Mens vet 70s 4:08:29
  • Social/Unaffiliated – Kruisers Pushing Limits 2:41:38

Fastest Legs

  • 7.2K: Andrew Rookie, 22:32, Laura Shrewbridge, 26:53
  • 5K:  Charlie Wakefield, 16:39,  Helen Davies, 18:0
  • 10K: Adrian Mussett, 32:43, Helen Davies, 36:02

Result History

The most frequent winners of the Mens Open event have been Ipswich Harriers, with more than 10 wins to their credit (since the late 1990s), City of Norwich and Bury Pacers have each won the race once in recent years. Ipswich JAFFA has won in 2012 and 2013 with Colchester Harriers wining the open event in 2014.

Fastest team times – since 2007:

Been at Woodbridge since 2014

  • Mens Open – Ipswich Harriers – 2010, 2:19:19
  • Ladies Open – West Suffolk AC  – 2016, 2:43:02
  • Mixed – Ipswich Harriers – 2018,  02:29:03
  • Mens Vets (aged 40 plus) – Colchester Harriers AC – 2019, 02:29:51
  • Ladies Vets (aged 35+) – St Edmund Pacers – 2018, 02:58:58
  • Male SuperVets  – Colchester Harriers AC – 2019, 2:40:52
  • Female SuperVets – Bungay Black Dog RC – 2019, 3:06:41
  • Over 60s  – North Norfolk Beach Runners – 2019, 03:21:50
  • Over 70s – North Norfolk Beach Runners – 2018, 03:58:01
  • Non affiliated – Kruisers Pushing Limits 2019 – 2:41:38

Past Results

Year Legs Results
2019 Seniors Team Junior Teams
2018  Individuals Seniors Team  Junior Teams
2017 Seniors Team
2016 Seniors Team Juniors Team
2015 Seniors Team Juniors Team
2014 Seniors Team Juniors Team
2013  A  B  C  D   E  F
2012  A  B  C  D   E  F
2011  A  B  C  D   E  F
2010  A  B  C  D   E  F
2009  A  B  C  D   E  F
2008  A  B  C  D   E  F
2007  A  B  C  D   E  F
2006  A  B  C  D   E  F
2005  A  B  C  D   E  F