Hundreds of runners take over the streets of Ely for Arthur Rank Hospice’s Festive 5K

The Ely Festive 5K. Photo: Arthur Rank Hospice

The Ely Festive 5K. Photo: Arthur Rank Hospice - Credit: Archant

Arthur Rank Hospice’s sixth annual Ely Festive 5K brought some timely seasonal merriment to the city’s streets last weekend.

More than 530 runners – many in seasonally themed fancy dress – took on the fun run with their family, friends and colleagues and it’s hoped that their efforts will have raised around £12,000 for the Hospice which has just moved to its new home at Shelford Bottom.

Despite allowing for a 50 per cent increase in runners from previous years meaning six hundred places were available this year, the 5K sponsored by Ward Gethin Archer and the Cambridge Building Society, sold out nearly two weeks early.

Runners donning fancy dress – including a polar bear outfit, bright pink fairies, an inflatable, lots of elves and the odd Christmas tree – made their way around a route that took in Ely Cathedral, Cherry Hill, Lavender Gardens and the Country Park.

Upon their return to Ely Market Square, the runners were presented with medals, heard live music from Sing! Choirs and were treated to mince pies and mulled wine.

Once race times were verified, it was confirmed that Ben Morris was fastest man in 18 minutes 31 seconds, Lauren Thomas claimed fastest woman in 22 minutes 41 seconds and Ely Tri Club were the fastest team for the third year consecutive year with a cumulative team time of one hour 17 minutes and 46 seconds.

In the under 16s category, Alex Oakhill won the male category with a time of 21 minutes and 16 seconds and Isabelle Gowler, from the Stretham Community Primary School team took the title for fastest female under 16, in 26 minutes and 26 seconds.

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It was also a successful day for The Dog Bathing Company in Queen Adelaide, who won the trophy for Best Fancy Dress Outfit for their dog and cat themed outfits - complete with mini-bath on wheels.

Lara Edwards, who was this year’s second fastest woman, said: “I’ve recently moved over to Ely and joined the Tri Club about two months ago, and this was my first run – well there was a potato race - but this was my first 5K! It started off a little bit rainy but it cleared up and it’s been amazing. I love the atmosphere: the choir’s amazing, the organisation was great and seeing so many people turn up, especially in fancy dress was brilliant!

“The fastest man was wearing a Santa outfit and I also saw a guy dressed as a dog which was hilarious. I’d like to thank the guy in an orange shirt who kept me motivated the whole way. I’ll definitely be back next year – this might have to become a routine every November!”