Festival of Sport and YRun charity run double the fun in Reigate's Priory Park

Big crowds turned out to enjoy this year's Reigate and Banstead Festival of Sport in the picturesque setting of Reigate's Priory Park.

Sunny weather drew fun-lovers to the annual event held recently and organised jointly by Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and Reigate and Banstead Sports Council Featuring displays of more than 30 sports on offer in the borough, and attractions including a portable bike track and a giant inflatable slide, the event lived up to its billing as a colourful showcase of the area's sporting life.

The festival was combined with Reigate and Redhill YMCA's YRUN 14, the annual sponsored running event around the park, raising funds for the charity to support local good causes and initiatives, while testing the stamina of those taking part.

This year's was the 15th fun run and brought a record number of late entries on the day.

Nearly 400 people took part in the adult five-mile race, which was started by Reigate and Banstead Mayor, Lynne Hack, and which was followed by local unicyclist Duncan Wardley at the rear, who completed the entire route on one wheel.

The first man home was course record-holder and deputy headteacher at Caterham’s St John’s Church of England Primary School, Alister Moses, in a time of 27 minutes and 48 seconds - just one second slower than his time of last year.

Reigate Priory Athletics club member Natalie Wilson made it a hat trick of wins to cross the line in first place for the ladies.

Earlswood School pupils Hiro Enslin and Scarlet Nimako were first boy and girl home in the hotly-contested Under 6’s race, while four year old Samuel Brooks took the fancy dress prize as the character from the Where's Wally? books.

Among the other race winners, ten-year-old Libby Bance stormed home to lead the Under 12’s pack across the line in a time of five minutes and 44 seconds, beating first boy home, Nicholas Smith, into second place.

And in the last race of the day, the Penny Stevens one-mile adult race, Simon Ford achieved a first for the YRun, becoming the only runner to date in this event to break the five-minute barrier, crossing the line in four minutes and 58 seconds.

All runners received a medal and a race T-shirt for taking part.

Reigate and Redhill YMCA chief executive, Ian Burks, said: “We’ve seen some amazing achievements here today which have inspired us all.”

He said: “We owe huge thanks to our sponsors, Osborne and Brewers, our amazing team of staff and volunteers and, of course, to the 1,411 runners and their supporters who have come along today and given their all.

“Together, we can build brighter futures for those who most need our help.”

All money raised from YRun 14 will help to support local YMCA projects which benefit vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people in East Surrey.

A full list of runners, times and placings can be viewed through a link on the YMCA website at: www.ymcachallenges.org.uk The 16th YMCA Fun Run will take place next year on Sunday, May 3.

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