Great turnout for Hospice festive fun run


Attendance figures in 2022 are back up to pre-pandemic levels

Hundreds of people braved a chilly Sunday morning to join in with one of the area’s big festive fund raisers for the Katharine House Hospice. 499 people signed-up to take part in this year’s Santa Fun Run, taking the event back to pre-pandemic participation levels.

Spiceball Park was filled with red Santa suited runners and a happy pre-Christmas atmosphere.    Talented youngsters from Stagecoach Banbury gave the runners some festive pre-run entertainment and Johannah Paynton put the runners through a warm-up routine ahead of the run starting.

The Fun Run offered a choice of either a 1.5km or 5km route.   9-year-old Conor Bird from Milcombe was first to complete the 1.5km route, for the second year running.

Conor knew it would be a challenge to repeat his winning ways in 2021.  He said: “Last year I came first and I was so proud.   Before the race I was thinking ‘Oh my gosh, it’s such a long run. How am I going to do this?’.   But then when I came past this finish line I was like ‘Oh I came first again!’”.

For many of the runners at today’s event Katharine House has played an important part in their life at a difficult time.   A group of friends came together for today’s event in memory of a friend who passed away two months ago.

One of the team, Hannah, said: “We’re all really good friends with Tim and unfortunately he lost his life to cancer after a 5 year battle in October.   We thought this was a good way to come together to celebrate Tim’s life and to raise money for a really good cause.

“The youngest of our team is about eight and the oldest about 50, with some doing the 1.5 and the others doing 5 kilometres.

“At the moment I think we’ve raised around £1,300 between all of us, but I think that’s going up.”

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Trevor Johnson, Katharine House Chief Executive, was delighted with the number of people taking part.   He said: “This is fantastic.  Everyone here is all dressed up ready to go, having fun.

“Its about bringing people together, creating a really fun event that people can come in and engage with and enjoy.   For some the running is perhaps less enjoyable than the lead up to it, but as long as everyone has fun!  We’ve got some serious runners as well.

“We’re so proud and thankful to be part of the community here and see our community come together for us.”

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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