Hundreds join tenth annual 5k run to raise £17,000 for charity

Reindeer, snowmen, elves, Santas and gingerbread people were among 533 “creative and enthusiastic” fundraisers who raised more than £17,000 for charity by taking part in the tenth annual Ely Festive 5k run.

Despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, sponsorship for their Festive 5k ended up raising “an unprecedented” amount for the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity.

And participants didn’t let the lack of a mass-gathering put them off going all-out with their festive fancy dress either - even if they were running alone in their village.

Angeline Liles, from the charity, said that one team – Percival’s Pushers – completed the distance in wheelchairs, while the Soham Couch to 5K run group had a whole team out completing their first ever 5K runs after following the training programme.

She added that this year a total of 533 runners get involved and “because there was no pressure to run, lots of people walked or covered the distance however it suited them.

“Brilliantly, these 533 participants were enthusiastic fundraisers who spread the word far and wide and enabled family, friends, neighbours and colleagues to generously donate to the charity in honour of their running and fancy dress efforts.

“It means that so far the total raised in sponsorship is £17,200 (and counting) which is unprecedented for us!

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“It’s incredibly heartening for us as the organisers to see the creative, enthusiastic efforts of our supporters result in raising this kind of sum for the hospice. The grand total will be announced at the end of this week.”

One participant, Claire Louise, said: “What an absolutely fabulous feeling. I wasn’t going to miss running my first festive 5k just because we are in lockdown.

“Virtual and socially distanced it needed to be, but there was much festive cheer to be experienced. I waved and cheered along 28 other runners along my route.

“The sun was shining and it felt so incredibly uplifting at a time when many of us may be struggling with worry or overwhelm during this second lockdown.

“I think this marks the official start of my little family’s festive festivities. Next year will be the biggest party if we can run together.”

The event, which was sponsored by Price Bailey Ely and Busy Bee Recruitment, took place on Sunday November 22 and those who took part chose their own route.