London Run 9 : Croydon with Race for Life

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Please donate generously to Cancer Research :

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Date : 7th July, 2019

Time : 55’ 05”

Number of runners (total to date) : 1250 (5588)

Run map and details :

Cancer Research’s Race for Life is one of the great British institutions. The first event was held in 1994, in Battersea, where 750 participants raised £48,000. 25 years later, 8 million people have taken part in events across the country raising £550 million along the way.

In 2019, for the first time, Race for Life opened its doors to men. Which meant that I could take part – and combine the Lloyd Park Race for Life with the Croydon leg of my London Borough Challenge.

Now, if you’ve never been to a Race for Life, it’s a pretty impressive set-up. I was invited up on stage before the race and introduced to the crowd*. And it was some crowd. Including participants, organisers, volunteers and supporters there must have been 1500 people there. Many if not most of them in pink.

I then had the honour of ringing the starting bell. Which you might think would be a fairly simple task that even someone like me could handle..

The starting tape went down, the runners surged forward and I began to merrily ring the bell…When a voice came over the PA shouting ‘Stop, stop, stop!’

We’d gone before the final countdown and needed to restart the race. Typical of the day, everyone went back behind the starting line with a smile on their faces.

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Cue dramatic music, the countdown and the official start!

For the next few minutes I clanged the bell while c 1300 participants crossed the start line.

And then it was time to start my run.

The Lloyd Park course consists of a 5 km loop allowing participants to cover either 5 km or 10 km without the maths being over-complicated. Participants can also walk or run the course. In short, there is something for everyone.

Since I was literally the last starter my first loop involved quite a lot of circumnavigating the many walkers. On the second loop the field was more spread out and it was easier to chat to – and photograph – my fellow Racers for Life.

Including the large group

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all running for their friend Mel

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Susan, Sally and their dog Princess

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the group under a tree

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The family running for their Mum / Nan / Mother-in-law

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and the couple, taking part while carrying their baby.

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As I hope you’ll have gathered from the pictures, everyone is very friendly and many people carry placards on their back with details of who they’re running for / why they’re running.

At the end of the run, everyone rings the bell and collects medals and water.

Many also pin their ‘back stories’ on a wall.

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It really is a fantastic and moving occasion

It just remains for me to thank Jessica,

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the effervescent emcee

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Claire, Kat, all the volunteers on the day

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and everyone at Cancer Research UK who looked after me so well. And a huge thank you to my fellow runners and walkers for the company, the welcome and, of course, for the over £100 000 which you had raised even before the run had even started!

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*I’m currently undertaking a challenge – Run the World – which involves me completing a 10km run in all 206 countries in the world to raise money for Cancer Research.

If you’d like to help fight cancer then I and, far more importantly, cancer sufferers around the world, would be immensely grateful for any donations to Cancer Research :

Please like / follow Run the World on Facebook , Instagram and Twitterbecause it would be great to stay in touch and because, however silly it may sound, it makes all the travel and running that little bit easier if you think people care!



About Run the World

I'm running 10 km in every country in the world - a total of 205 countries - by the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. I'm doing the Run the World challenge to promote the benefits of sport and physical activity and to raise money for cancer research following the death of my mother from cancer. If you'd like to donate to Cancer Research - - then I know they'd be very grateful.
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