Big buzz around Cricklade races
Cricklade Town Council vice chairman Gina Chapman with furry friends Helen Baker, Tina Jones, John Cool and Shelley Parker
A BEAR, a bunny, a bird and a bee took to the starting line along with hundreds of other competitors for a trio of races in Cricklade on the weekend.
More than 1,300 laces were tied in preparation for the half marathon, 10k race and mile-and-a-half fun run, which was hosted by Cricklade Leisure Centre on Sunday.
The event had “the greatest turnout of spectators ever”, with hundreds lining the town’s streets to cheer on runners.
The event raised around £3,500 for a number of local charities including the community leisure centre itself, Cricklade-based charity Lights for Learning and Heart UK.
Members and staff from Cricklade Town Council also raised around £500 by successfully completing the fun run dressed in colourful animal suits. They took on the challenge in aid of the council’s campaign to restore a Diamond Jubilee Mosaic, which was destroyed by this summer’s erratic weather conditions.
Town council clerk Shelley Parker said: “We’ve had lots of contributions towards the mosaic and wanted to do our bit too. We’re delighted that we have raised more than £500.
“We were overtaken every step of the way but it was great fun and we had lots of support.”
A band of energetic youngsters beat the furry foursome to the finish line.
The first boy and girl to complete the mile-and-a-half fun run was Michael Lennon, aged 13, who finished in 9mins 5secs and Ellen Foster, 11, who finished in 10mins 52 secs.
Race organiser and Cricklade Leisure Centre worker, Mike Chaplin, took part in the 10k event.
He said: “It was a surprise to see how many people turned out to cheer us on. It was more than we’ve ever seen before and hugely encouraging to see people cheering us on at various points.”
He added that the event would not have been possible without around 50 volunteer marshals who helped out on the day.
Just under 300 runners took part in the half-marathon event, with Simon Plummer from Salisbury Ark finishing in first place at 1hr 9mins and 54secs.
Michael Towler from Avon Valley Runners finished in second at 1hr 14mins and 10secs and Rob Forbes from Cirencester Athletic Club finished third at 1hr 17mins and 27secs.
A further 250 took part in the 10k event, with Miles Thomas from Lliswerry Runners finishing in first at 36mins and 26secs.
Joanna Emery from Coventry Harriers was a close second at 36mins 49secs and David Wright from Cirencester Athletic Club finished third at 37mins 34secs.