HUNDREDS OF youngsters stepped out today to take part in one of the region’s biggest charity runs for children.
Now in its seventh year, it was the first time the popular free-to-enter Arena Group Leeds Mini and Junior Run had been held at Leeds Dock and the youngsters were cheered by enthusiastic crowds as they made their way around the course.
Children aged three to eight tackled the 1.5K mini run, while youngsters aged nine to 14 in the junior event covered a distance of 2.5K.
Winner of the boys’ junior run for 9-14-year-olds was Harvey Norden with Max Metcalfe in second. Both boys run for Rothwell Harriers. Lennon Ingham from Cockburn School finished in third place.
First girl across the line was Alisha Laidler followed by Megan Wyke-Ulliott in second place and Lydia Barker came third. All three girls also run for Rothwell Harriers, making it a hugely successful day for the Harriers.
Mick Harrison, Arena’s Group Service Director, said: “Another brilliant event! It was great to see so many youngsters having a great time – the smiles on their faces said it all. We hope they had a day that they will remember for a long time and managed to raise lots in support of their chosen charities.”
Children taking part in the runs are encouraged to raise a small amount of money to help a local cause. This year the official partner charity is Sunshine and Smiles, a support network established in 2011 for children and young people who have Down Syndrome, and their families, in Leeds and the surrounding areas.
Ailith Harley-Roberts, of Sunshine and Smiles, said: “We would like to thank Run For All and the Arena Group for the fantastic opportunity of being the partner charity for this year’s Leeds Mini and Junior Runs.
“It has been a fabulous day and we are so grateful for the support of so many people raising both awareness and funds for our charity; thereby furthering the important work we do in supporting children and young people who have Down syndrome, and their families, and hopefully shifting perspectives in the wider community. It was overwhelming to see so many Sunshine and Smiles T-shirts out there on the course today... a massive thank you to everyone involved.”
Anna Baker, of Run For All, said: “A huge well done to all of those children who took part today and a big thank you to everyone who helped make the event happen and put a smile on the faces of so many youngsters.”
The Arena Leeds Mini and Junior Run is part of the Run For All stable of events which also includes the Asda Foundation Leeds 10K, the Plusnet Leeds Half Marathon, the Asda Foundation York 10K and The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon.
Run For All is part of Jane Tomlinson’s lasting legacy. Jane Tomlinson CBE raised £1.85m for children’s and cancer charities before her untimely death from cancer aged just 43 in 2007. She made headlines across the world by competing in a series of epic endurance challenges from the London Marathon, ironman and triathlon competitions, to a 4,200 mile cycle ride across the width of the USA – despite being diagnosed with incurable cancer.
Her family continue to raise funds in her name, and the Jane Tomlinson Appeal has to date raised £7.6m.
For more details on all of the events, go to www.runforall.com.