Charity runners hit Cricklade streets to raise cash

This Is Wiltshire: People take part in the Cricklade half marathon People take part in the Cricklade half marathon

RUNNERS pounded the streets of Cricklade in a half marathon, 10k and fun run.

Hundreds of people of all ages arrived at St Sampson’s infant and junior schools yesterday to take part in the three events.

About 300 people took part in the half marathon, while about 270 entered in the 10k and 111 opted for the fun run.

One of the organisers, Phillipa Knight, said: “It brings the whole community together. We have 40 local marshalls and without them we couldn’t run this race. The support of the local people who have come to take part and to watch is fantastic.

“We have lots of people from Cricklade taking part. The purpose of the event is to raise money for local charities, specifically the leisure centre, which has been a charity for the past five years. We also support local charities Jenner Hall and Lights for Learning. This year we are also supporting Heart UK.”

The half marathon runners were the first to set off and received a big round of applause as they crossed the start line.

The 10k runners took to the track five minutes later, and among the athletes was Jennifer Merritt of Rodbourne, who was raising funds for the Swindon Therapy Centre for MS.

The 27-year-old said: “I was diagnosed with MS last September. We went to the therapy centre at Christmas and I have had oxygen therapy, treatment and support from them. They have also helped my husband and my family by giving support and information.

“I started training in February when I still wasn’t in brilliant health. Over the past few months I have managed to increase it with help from my husband.”

She raised more than £1,000.

Also among the 10k runners were Maria Hedge of Greenmeadow, and Theresa Osman of Haydon Wick, who are both members of the Swindon Harriers.

Theresa, 53, said: “We are here to go out and enjoy it. We want to have a good time. We are going the five-mile route next week at the Swindon half marathon.”

All three courses finished at Cricklade Leisure Centre.

Members of Cricklade Town Council took part in the fun run dressed as a bird, a bee, a bear and a rabbit to raise funds for repairing the town’s Jubilee mosaic.

The first to cross the line in the fun run was 13-year-old Michael Lennon.

The 10k was won by Thomas Miles, followed by Joanna Emery and David Wright, while the half marathon was won by Simon Plummer in 1:09:54. Michael Towler was second and Rob Forbes was third.

Medals and awards were handed out by the high bailiff of Cricklade, Clive Smith.

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