South Essex’s 24-Hour Race Goes Virtual – HARP

South Essex’s 24-Hour Race Goes Virtual – HARP

HARP, Southend’s homeless charity, are calling all running enthusiasts to register for their Virtual HARP24 event, an adapted and Covid-secure version of popular 24-hour running festival, HARP24.

The 24-hour challenge starts at midday on Saturday 19 June and finishes at midday on Sunday 20 June, with solo runners and teams aiming to run as many miles as they can during that 24-hour period.

HARP24 is a unique event welcoming all abilities from ultra-marathoners to fun runners and usually takes place in the grounds of Westliff Rugby Club, with a 4.2 mile lap around the beautiful Cherry Orchard Country Park. The last event in 2019 attracted 470 runners from across the country and abroad.

Due to the pandemic, HARP had to make the difficult decision to postpone last year’s HARP24, which would have been the event’s ninth year. The charity had hoped to get back to normal this year but, despite the government’s new roadmap out of lockdown, there will still be some restrictions in place on the planned weekend of the event.

Dina Jobson, HARP’s Head of Fundraising, said: “We might be doing things differently this year, but we hope that taking HARP24 virtual will allow as many people as possible to take part in what is usually our biggest fundraising event of the year, and adapt it to whatever restrictions may be in place at the time. It’s impossible to duplicate the fantastic energy that’s created every year at the Westcliff Rugby Club, but we hope that the virtual HARP24 will be a chance for people to get involved and run in solidarity with people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in and around Southend. We plan to come back bigger and better for HARP24 2022!”

Steve Johnson, Chief Executive of Ipeco, who are sponsoring HARP24, said: “Ipeco is delighted to support the HARP24 Virtual Challenge this year. Although naturally we are disappointed that this has to be a virtual event, it is nevertheless important to continue to support local charities like HARP and raise funds. The Ipeco team has always enjoyed the uniqueness of this event and we are grateful to the HARP team for giving us the opportunity to support them in such a fun way!”

Runners can find all the details and sign up at

Jamie Langstone