Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Hardy runners face Hilly challenge

EXACTLY 600 people took part in this year’s Frieth Hilly.

EXACTLY 600 people took part in this year’s Frieth Hilly.

There were two races at Sunday’s event, one of 10km with 400 runners and one of 5km with the rest.

Race director Diane Hill said a handful of people were turned away as both races had reached their maximum capacity.

She said: “The number of entries grew steadily in the run-up to the race.

“We got in touch about the race with quite a few local clubs, including Henley Tri, who chose our event because we allow younger children to enter.”

Before the start of the Hilly, the race was blessed by Rev Sue Moreton who read an adapted version of Isaiah chapter 40 and was applauded by participants.

The runners passed through Parmoor, Fingest and Skirmett before finishing in the playground of the primary school, where they were offered massages and goodie bags.

Henley Tri organiser Michael Warner, who had about 20 runners taking part in the 5km race, said: “For most of them it was their first Frieth Hilly. They enjoyed it and were very excited afterwards.

“It’s a lovely event, very well marshaled and organised. It has a community feel and is lovely for a club like ours.” The event raised about £10,000, a record, which will go towards new computer equipment at Frieth Primary School. Some of this came from the sale of cakes, bacon and sausage rolls and tea and coffee.

Mrs Hill added: “There is a balance with a race like ours. We want to raise as much as we can for the school but one of the reasons it’s so popular is because it’s a community event.

“It’s a lovely village, full of people who support the event by baking cakes or cheering on the runners.

“We want to keep the rural community feel. We will look at the numbers but won’t expand it to the point where it’s just another big race.”

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