4:26pm Monday 23rd September 2013
RUNNERS descended on Halesowen town centre yesterday for the Great Black Country Run.
Over 630 runners turned out and raised thousands of pounds for charities and good causes.
Both the 10 kilometre road race and the five kilometre fun run saw the town centre and adjoining roads packed with runners and supporters.
The event, organised by Rotary Club of Halesowen and Rowley Regis, was the second fundraising run and the biggest yet.
Rotarian and race organiser Alan Bowler said: “It was a great day and we’d like to thank everyone who took part or volunteered on the day.
“We had over 630 runners, many of which registered on the day, which really made the day special.
“The weather was perfect and it was great to see so many charity stalls and we were delighted with what Mercedes and Promarco did in the town centre.”
He added: “A lot of good causes and charities will have benefited from the day and it is really important those running raising money for their own charities let us know how much they raised as we want to know the grand total.”
Volunteers marshalled the event and included members of the Rotary Club and local councillors including former Dudley Council leader Les Jones.
Mr Bowler said: “All our volunteers deserve a big thank you as they really were our games makers giving up their time to marshal the event.
“We have already set a date for next year’s Great Black Country Run so we are already working towards September 21 2014.”
Dudley Mayor Councillor Alan Finch was one of the hundreds of runners in the 10km road race raising money for the Whitehouse Cancer Centre and Hearing Dogs for the Deaf.
He said: “It was a wonderful day for Halesowen and it was great so many people came out their houses and cheered the runners on.
“I did two laps and I think I even blacked out because I had pulled my hamstrings playing cricket a few weeks ago, but the encouragement I got off people kept me going.”
Halesowen’s European kickboxing champion Simon Akufo started both races and branded the event a success.
He said: “It was so good to see so many families enjoying the event in Halesowen and hopefully it will inspire lots of people to exercise and stay fit.”
Pete Matthews from Halesowen won the 10km road race in a time of 38 minutes, 13 seconds and won £50 in ASDA vouchers.
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