Monday, 12 April 2021

Virtual 10km raises £6,000

THIS year’s Goring 10km race raised £6,000 for the village primary school despite being held virtually.

More than 200 residents took part in the “10K Your Way” challenge on Sunday, running, walking, rowing or cycling the distance at their own pace.

Some did it outdoors, either alone or in their family “bubbles”, while others raced indoors using rowing machines, elliptical trainers or exercise bikes.

The usual event, in which up to 1,200 entrants run a 10km circuit of the countryside north of the village, couldn’t take place because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The proceeds will go to the school’s parent-teacher association to pay for a new library and essential classroom equipment. Twenty-two members of school staff took part, including headteacher Angela Wheatcroft, a keen runner who raised more than £2,200 by completing a total of 160km during February and March.

Mrs Wheatcroft, 45, from Reading, would run about 8km once or twice during the week and then up to 15km at the weekend.

She was planning to run just 100km and raise £1,000 but she hit both targets so quickly that she decided to be more ambitious.

She said: “I felt so inspired that I wanted to see how much further I could go and I’m really thankful to everybody who supported me. It was rewarding to see the kilometres clocking up.

“The main 10km run was fine — a bit windy in places but I got up early to do it and with the clocks having gone forward it really was early.

There were lots of families taking part and they found lots of different ways of getting involved, whether that was doing it on the day or across the whole week leading up to it.”

Race organiser Jules Hopkinson said the virtual event could continue alongside the “real” one once coronavirus restrictions allow.

He said: “Nothing’s decided but it’s a nice idea because there’s an age limit of 15 so this allows children to get involved more.

“We didn’t get the usual entries from people outside the area but our community showed huge enthusiasm and creativity in deciding how they would take part.

“They really loved it and some said they found routes they didn’t know about while exploring the countryside. It was a positive experience and a good reason to be having fun outside.”

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