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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Rainbow runners raise thousands for North Cumbria hospice at home

Carlisle's Hammonds Pond was awash with good will – and vibrant colour – as hundreds of people flocked to the city’s first Colour Run.

The sponsored five-kilometre fun run around the park, which raised money for Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland, saw those taking part joyfully splattered in vivid colours that brought a smile to almost every face.

Organisers hope the event will have raised as much as £10,000 for the charity.

Among those taking part were good friends Carolyn Burns, 41, and Suzanne Toppin, 44, both from Penrith.

Already keen amateur runners, they got into the spirit of the event by each wearing huge comedy spectacles, and carrying inflatable animal friends – a pink flamingo and a cheeky monkey.

But for Carolyn, the event had deeper meaning that the obvious motive of fun.

She said: “I’m doing it for my mum Joan, who has cancer. This is the second time that she’s had it.

“The first time was 12 years ago. This time, she’s had it since June. My uncle also had help from the hospice at the end of his life and they took such amazing care of him.

“So I just wanted to help, and it seems that everybody knows somebody who has had or been affected by cancer.”

Also running yesterday was Louise Stewart, 25, from Carlisle, who said: “I wanted to do it because it’s the first one they’ve had in Carlisle and because it’s for the hospice. I was involved with it in Carlisle because I was a student social worker here.”

Fundraiser Julie Blundell said: “It’s our first Colour Run in the city and we hope to raise around £10,000. We expect that 300 people will have taken part but we hope that next year it will be an even bigger event.”

The emphasis yesterday was firmly on taking part – and having fun.

The Colour Run, billed as a 5km “run, walk, skip or dance through a shower of colour”, was organised by Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland.

A similar fundraiser has already been held at Muncaster Castle and another one is due to be held on July 5 at Frenchfield, Penrith.

It is hoped that entire families will take part. The paint used was biodegradable, “easy clean”, non-toxic and not harmful.

For more information, log on to hospiceathome.co.uk/carlisle_colour_run.

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