YMCA Fun Run in Reigate sees more than 1,000 runners out in force
MORE than 1,000 good sports took to the damp of Reigate's Priory Park for the 12th Reigate and Redhill YMCA Fun Run.
Runners whose ages spanned eight decades, took part in a series of one-mile races, and a five-mile route for adults, on Sunday.
The area's celebrities were out in force with EastEnders star Shane Richie and chef Tony Tobin among the crowd cheering the runners home.
Olympic hopeful and world silver medallist at the canoe sprint, Ed Cox, was on hand to help start the races and present prizes.
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Mr Richie also kept runners and their supporters entertained with a patter of cheeky asides as he took over the microphone for the start of the adult five-mile race.
First man home in that was 38-year-old South Park resident, Ryan Harris, who crossed the line in 27 minutes and 57 seconds.
The Reigate Priory Athletics Club member said: "This is the first time I've taken part in a YMCA Fun Run but I'm really glad I came along. I'm thrilled to have won."
Natalie Wilson, from the same club, came in first for the ladies in a time of 31 minutes and 6 seconds.
Champion of the under 6 race for girls, Zara Watkinson, 5, revealed her winning formula. The Holmesdale Infant School pupil said: "I started slowly and then got faster and faster. Now I am going to keep my trophy in my bedroom with all my other precious things."
William Kerven won the boy's race.
YMCA chief executive, Ian Burks, said: "In the past 13 years, nearly 12,000 adults and children in total have taken part in the fun run.
"It's been fantastic to see so many families braving the chill and as usual we had a mix of people taking part – from 4-year-olds winning their first ever medal through to 89-year-old Jack Parker from Radio Redhill who was our last finisher in the final race – brilliant."
In the under 10 race, Felix Vaughan, 8, won in a time of 6 minutes and 19 seconds, and Reigate Priory pupil, Lily Grant, improved upon last year's second place to win for the girls.
Another Reigate Priory pupil, Katriona Brown, completed a hat-trick of wins with her victory in the under 12 race, while Reigate College pupil Tom Li, from Redhill, claimed victory in the Penny Stevens adult one-mile race.
The prize for best fancy dress went to Arthur Bellingham, aged 8, who turned up as Zorro.
]A full list of runners, times and placings can be viewed via a link on the YMCA website at www.ymcachallenges.org.uk