LACE up your running shoes, the date has been set for this year’s day-long Harp 24 race.

The event, open to competitors of all abilities, involves running 4.2-mile circuits through picturesque Rochford countryside over a 24-hour period.

It raises much-needed funds for charity Harp, which helps homeless people throughout Southend.

The run takes place on Saturday and Sunday June 21 and 22 at Westcliff Rugby Club, off Aviation Way, with the circuit heading into Cherry Orchard Country Park.

Last year, it raised £7,000 and organisers are hoping to top this.

The event is aimed at teams of two to eight people, but individuals can also take part.

The idea is to have a team member on the course at any time during the 24-hour period, which starts at noon on the Saturday.

However, this is not compulsory and teams can take breaks.

Last year one team ran one circuit each, then partied, stayed the night and left the next morning.

Catherine Hodgson, from Harp’s fundraising team, said: “We are hoping to increase the number of Harp 24 competitors this year, and to therefore increase the amount of money raised for Harp.

“We want our runners to have fun and enjoy the event, but to also remember they are running for a great cause.

“There is still much work to be done to help Southend’s homeless and to reach out to all those living rough on the streets in our local area.”

If you want to take part, visit or call 01702 615000 to register your place.