A SUN-DRENCHED park played host to the third instalment of a popular fundraising race yesterday as hundreds pulled on their running shoes in support of a community radio station.
A record 426 runners signed up for this year’s Marlow FM Radio Run, which takes runners on a scenic 10k course along the Thames to Hurley before looping back to finish in Higginson Park.
Presenters aired their shows from a radio van at the lush Thameside spot, broadcasting the race live for listeners as far afield as California.
And with a team of dedicated volunteers on hand to make sure the event ran smoothly, organiser Tina Ashburner praised the efforts of the runners, marshalls and sponsors for making the race a great success.
She said: “After all the organisation, it’s great to see it all pay off. It’s the third year and the most runners we’ve had yet. We had well over 300 pre-registered before today and another 95 registered this morning.
“I pray for good weather every year, and we have been lucky to have sunshine for three years running!
“We have a team of over 50 volunteers and marshalls along the route. Everyone has been great and very supportive and all the runners are very respectful and I think they all enjoyed it.
“We are a not for profit organisation and we have a lot to pay for – licenses, ongoing costs and uprgrading equipment and this is what the money will go towards.”
Winner of the race was the appropriately named Laurence Miles from Marlow, who despite being eligible for the veterans category, took the crown for the second year running.
The 43-year-old crossed the line in 36 minutes, 35 seconds, just five minutes ahead of first-placed female Caroline Hoskins, who completed the course in 41:25.
Mr Miles said: “This is a great race, the route is really nice and interesting to look at with the river and bridges. It’s in aid of a great cause in Marlow FM and it is a lovely event.
It’s always well organised too and they’ve arranged for good weather again this year! I qualify for the veterans’ category now so it’s getting tougher each time, but I should be back next year.”
Winners and runners-up were presented with their trophies by special guest and Paralympic gold medallist Naomi Riches along with international competition runner and race organiser Sam Amend.
Prizes came courtesy of restaurant Cote Brasserie, which awarded meal vouchers and bottles of wine to the winners and runners up.
Race sponsorship came from Signature Care Homes, which is opening a large retirement complex in Marlow later this year.
Instead of individual sponsorship, funds were generated through registration fees for individual runners, with organisers hopeful to hit the 500 competitor mark next year.