Thousands of people pulled on their running shoes to raise money for good causes and run for fun at this year’s torrential Great Eastern Run.
The half marathon and fun run through Peterborough yesterday (Sunday) has been hailed as a success despite wet weather making conditions difficult.
Hundreds of supporters lined the Embankment to cheer on the runners as they splashed their way to the finish line after a 13.1 mile lap of the city in the heavy rain.
Just under 5,200 people entered the half marathon, up by 25 per cent from 12 months ago and more than 1,600 people took part in the Anna’s Hope Fun Run - up by 85 per cent from last year.
Carole Hughes, co-founder of the charity Anna’s Hope, which supports children and young people with brain tumours, said: “It was a fantastic event.
“We’ve had lots of support from people taking part and from those who have come to watch.
“I’m sure everyone was hoping for dry weather, but the spirit of the runners was fantastic.”
The half marathon was started by Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson who wished all the runners well before starting a countdown.
The overall winner was Nicholas Kirui in a time of 63 minutes and 59 seconds.
As well as the seasoned club runners competing for the win and a good time thousands of runners were raising money for a number of good causes.
Two hundred people took part in the event to raise funds for Jess Howard, a four-year-old girl from Helpston, who suffers from cerebral palsy.
Helpston resident Ali Peat, who set up Team Jess, said the group is confident of raising its £30,000 target.
Mr Peat said: “Before the start of the race we had £28,000 so we’re hopeful of getting over the line.
“The race wasn’t easy, obviously it was very slippy under foot, but once you’re wet you don’t get any wetter.
“The support we received was incredible. People were cheering us round all over the course and that kept us going.
“We had a mixture of first time runners and more experienced people, but everyone dug deep to help Jess.”
Care workers Samantha Wright and Sarah Palmer, who work for Bluebird Care in St Mary’s Street, Stamford, ran for charities which help their customers.
Sarah, 27, ran for the Alzheimer’s Society while Samantha, 29, raised funds for the Stroke Association.
The pair raised about £600 between them.
Samantha, who ran the race despite suffering a sprained ankle in training the week before and having a chest infection, said: “We were both determined to still complete the half marathon illness and injury aside and we did.
“It was the worst running conditions wind rain and slippy. It was almost as if every thing was against us. However we put our charity heads on and pushed each other through.
“The atmosphere was amazing and friends and partners pushed us through despite having to stand in the cold and rain.
“The two charities have touched our hearts on so many levels. We both see first hand the work carers and families do to care for stroke and Alzheimer’s patients and they inspire us everyday.” Samantha completed the race in 2hr 22min 4sec and Sarah came in at 2hr 40min.
If you ran the Great Eastern Run to raise money for charity or local good causes contact us with your story by e-mail