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Halesowen fun run hailed a success
2:26pm Sunday 16th September 2012 in News
DELIGHTED fundraisers have hailed Halesowen ’s first ever fun run a resounding success.
More than 400 runners of all ages and abilities took to the streets this morning for the five kilometre event organised by Halesowen and Rowley Regis Rotary Club.
The town’s four Olympic and Paralympic heroes, Kristian Thomas, Jess Varnish, Helen Scott and Jordanne Whiley, were all in attendance and handed out medals at the finishing line.
Halesowen and Rowley Regis MP James Morris was among those taking part and raising cash for the Midlands Air Ambulance, Macmillan Cancer Support and Birmingham Children’s Hospital along with a host of other charities.
Organiser Alan Bowler said the morning had gone exactly to plan.
He said: “It’s the first time we have ever done anything like this so we didn’t know what it was going to be like.
“We’ve had a whole host of people who have helped, it has been a real team effort.
“We’ve worked closely with the council to organise this and everyone agrees it has been fantastic.”
Runners congregated at Somers Square for a warm-up around 8.45am and were then moved down to the start line by Benjamins on Birmingham Street.
The four Olympic and Paralympic heroes were introduced to the crowd along with other dignitaries, before Mayor councillor Melvyn Mottram started the race at 9.30am prompt.
After tackling two laps of the course at varying speeds, while being cheered on by hundreds of spectators, entrants collected medals and had their photos taken with the town’s sporting heroes.
The 439 total entries included a number of children and speaking after he had crossed the line, James Morris said he hoped the event would encourage participation in sport.
He said: “I think it’s important to build on the Olympic legacy which highlighted the sporting culture and facilities we have in Halesowen.
“Anything we can do to increase participation in sport has to be a good thing.
“Events like this bring the community together. We don’t have enough of that.”
Olympic gymnast Kristian Thomas was impressed with the turnout.
He said: “I’ve probably had over 100 photos taken with people. Your jaw does get a bit stiff after a while!
“It’s been a really good day and nice to see so many people competing.”
The run certainly created a buzz among many of those who took part. Lifelong resident Simon Johnson, aged 37, ran with his six-year-old daughter Aeowyn and described it as the “best thing he’d ever seen” in Halesowen.
He added: “It was nice to see the whole community out together.
“I had no plans to take part until I came down this morning and was persuaded to sign up but now I’m really glad I did.”