Hundreds of big-hearted Leeds schoolchildren pulled on their trainers today [Saturday 9th July] for one of the region’s biggest charity runs.
The area around Leeds Dock came to life as youngsters took part in the Arena Group Leeds Mini and Junior Run, many raising money for a good cause of their own choice or for the event’s partner charity, JDRF, which funds research into type 1 diabetes, a condition which affects 400,000 people in the UK; 29,000 of whom are children.
Children aged between 3 and 8 tackled a 1.5k route, while those aged 9 to 14 completed 2.5k.
There was no shortage of inspiration and jubilation as the youngsters made their way to the finish line, cheered on by enthusiastic crowds who offered the young participants great support.
The spirit of the event was captured by the effort of seven-year-old Euan Ashurst, of Alwoodley, Leeds, who took on the challenge despite battling Duchenne muscular dystrophy, an incurable muscle-wasting condition.
Suitable for children of all abilities and organised by Jane Tomlinson’s Run For All, the mini and junior runs provide youngsters with a great introduction to mass participation events.
First junior boy across the finish line was Harvey Norden, followed by George Sutcliffe in second place with Jenson Brogden in third. Holly Davey triumphed in the girl’s junior run, Nancy Britten took second place followed by Emily Plimmer in third.
Entry was free thanks to the sponsorship of document management specialist Arena Group and every child who finished received a goody bag and finisher’s medal.
Adrian Fitzpatrick, managing director of Arena Group, which has supported Run For All Mini and Junior runs since 2010, said: “Well done to all they children who ran today. They have supported an excellent cause and can wear their medals with pride.”
Charity ambassador and influencer, Phil Packer MBE attended the launch of the running events in Leeds in April and reiterated his support for the participants.
Phil Packer MBE said: “Well done to all who took part in such a fun and inclusive event and for raising funds to support so many great causes. By raising funds for JDRF they will help support vital research to cure, treat and prevent type 1 diabetes.”
Sarah McLaughlin, of Run For All, said: “A huge well done to all the children who took part today; they did a brilliant job.
“It was really heart-warming to see so many youngsters taking part for a huge variety of causes.”