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Sunday, 13 July 2014

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Charities the winners in Carlisle's Great Cumbrian Run

Emotions were running high as the stream of colourful competitors set off on the Cumberland Building Society Great Cumbrian Run from Carlisle Castle.

The field was slightly down on last year’s event, at around 1,400, but there were fewer last-minute drop-outs with almost everyone eager to compete in the good conditions.

The start from Carlisle Castle stopped traffic on Castle Way at 10am.

British running legend and Olympic gold medallist Derek Redmond and CFM broadcaster Robbie Dee officially started the race before participants manoeuvred themselves safely over the castle’s slippery cobbles before heading down Castle Street and through the city centre.

The 13.1-mile route then went up Botchergate and London Road before taking in the villages of Cumwhinton, Wetheral and Scotby and heading back to finish at the Sheepmount Athletics Stadium.

First home was James Buis, of Great Corby, who runs for Newcastle-based Heaton Harriers. He crossed the line in a time of 71 minutes and 16 seconds.

He said: “I’ve not done the Cumbrian Run for five or six years, it was a very different route last time I took part.

“It’s good to take part in something so close to home for a change. My last race was the Great North Run a couple of weeks ago.

“It’s been a great atmosphere. It was a bit hot for me, but that’s okay.”

He was followed by James Scott-Buccleuch, of Stockport, and former Border Harriers runner Alan Bowness, who was third.

The 2011 women’s champion is Vicky Hindson, of Wallsend Harriers, who romped home in a time of 85 minutes 13 seconds – more than two minutes faster than her time last year when she came third.

Second was Christine Holmes, of Trentham running club in Stoke, and Eden Runners club member Karen Bridge, of Tirril, was third.

Derek Redmond was on hand to present trophies and Asics vouchers to the first, second and third-place runners as well as the trophies to the first boy and girl home in the earlier family fun run.

Derek said: “It’s good to see so many people out on a murky morning like this. Anything that gets people out of bed like this on a Sunday morning is a fantastic thing. For half marathon conditions this is good because it’s not been too hot and the runners will love it.”

First-time race director Garry Schubert said: “The atmosphere at the start was tremendous. Seeing that line of people coming out and going up Castle Street was amazing. I didn’t expect to see so many people coming out to cheer them all out.”

Many of the runners taking part yesterday in the 29th annual event were raising funds for good causes.

As well as the Carlisle Youth Zone and Eden Valley Hospice – this year’s two official charities – the biggest team of participants were wearing the distinctive green T-shirts of Macmillan Cancer Relief.

Most of the team was put together by 42-year-old Gary McKee, of Cleator Moor.

Gary, who also ran 33 marathons in 27 days from Land’s End to John O’Groats in April for the charity, said: “We did this run last year with 50 people but with it being Macmillan’s centenary year we decided we wanted to try and get 100 and we’ve got over that.

“Together we think we’re raising over £20,000 today and that is going to go to the local Macmillan fund and be spent here helping local families coping with cancer.

“I’ve been helping Macmillan for around eight or nine years, since my father Victor died, but one in three of us are going to experience cancer in our lives so it is a magnificent cause to support.”

Marketing manager Eve Johnson led a team from BSW Timber at Cargo. Colleagues have raised around £4,000 in memory of their boss, the firm’s sales and marketing director Alan Wheat, who died of cancer last year.

Friends Ann Ford, Zoe Cowgill and Deborah Docherty, all from Carlisle, donned fancy dress to walk around the course for Blesma, a charity which helps soldiers who have lost limbs in combat.

Ann, nursing a broken right arm following an accident last Tuesday, said: “It is exactly two years ago since I had a similar accident but still went ahead with the run.

“We’re doing this to raise as much money as we can for Blesma. My son’s friend lost his two legs and an arm in Afghanistan and they need our help.”

Harry Berger, 41, landlord at the Woolpack Inn in Eskdale in west Cumbria, was taking on his first half marathon.

He is set to raise £5,000 this year for the Great North Air Ambulance Service, which helped rescue him from Seascale after he was shot by taxi driver Derrick Bird.

Three local doctors and a nurse rushed to his aid before he was transferred to the care of the air ambulance crew, who were able to get him to hospital in Carlisle in less than 10 minutes.

Harry said: “I only did my first competitive race – since I was 15 – the Gosforth 10K, just about six weeks ago. I’m also going to be doing the Bill Barker memorial event in November and last weekend I did the four 3,000-ft peaks of Hevellyn, Skiddaw, Scafell and Scafell Pike over two days. I just want to give something back to those who helped me.”

Have your say

Well done to Garry Schubert for directing a great race. Thank you to the CLL staff and volunteers who make this event possible every year. And thanks to the runners who make it what it is.

Posted by Andy King on 7 October 2011 at 14:53

Great Event, the numbers about right, maybe a few more but not too many. But reason I am commenting one here, is to say a big thanks to all organisers, marshals and the fantastic support that was out there.

Posted by Anthony Nicholson on 5 October 2011 at 16:08

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