Runners out in force for children’s hospice

Adam Pitts (centre) with Joanne Apps and Clare Nichols from Sussex County Women and Girls Football League, of Worthing Town FC SUS-140923-105503001
Adam Pitts (centre) with Joanne Apps and Clare Nichols from Sussex County Women and Girls Football League, of Worthing Town FC SUS-140923-105503001
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Over 1,100 runners turned out for the Chestnut Tree House 10k Coastal Run in Littlehampton – our biggest 10K to date!

Seasoned runners, club runners, first time runners and fundraisers pounded along the promenade on Littlehampton seafront on Sunday September 7 for the 11th annual Chestnut Tree House 10k Coastal Run, helping to raise thousands of pounds for the only children’s hospice in Sussex.

This year the event was extra special as Adam Pitts, drummer from the band Lawson, joined the running cohort, providing fantastic support for the event. Twenty three year old Adam, who lives in Sussex, was delighted to complete his run in a time of 55 minutes and 10 seconds.

Adam said: “Chestnut Tree House is my local children’s hospice and it is really a fantastic cause to support.

“This was my first ever charity run and I was pretty nervous beforehand. It’s been an amazing day and I would recommend the event to anyone thinking of taking part.

“Thanks to everyone who has sponsored me so far via www.justgiving.com/adampitts, the money really does go a long way to help the children and families across who rely on Chestnut Tree House’s services and support.”

This year’s run welcomed many teams of friends, family and colleagues including Travel Places and Marlin Financial of Worthing, Spofforths Accountants, the Chestnutters 10 in 10 Challengers, Harwoods of Crawley, Leaders Marketing, a team of staff and friends from the hospice known as Team 64, and Team Heidi and Ellebelle, who were Lewis Ramm, Victoria Ramm and Laura Stockton.

Two runners from Sussex County Women and Girls Football League, of Worthing Town FC, Joanne Apps and Clare Nichols, took part and were lucky to meet with Adam Pitts before the start of the race. They were cheered on by Worthing Town FC Chairman Tony Lelliott.

A number of local running clubs turned out in force, including the Arunners, Chichester Runners Cake Run team, Horsham Joggers, Tone Zone of Bognor Regis, Worthing and District Harriers, Denmead Striders and Worthing Striders.

A special mention goes to Tom Lane, Director of Asset Management at Avtrade, who completed the run on the one year anniversary of receiving a kidney transplant. At the time of running Tom had raised nearly enough money to pay for one day of all the care services at Chestnut Tree House (£6,850).

In addition, we were delighted to see Guy Clinch, our Chairman of Trustees, joining the runners once again, and James Baker of Chichester Runners and Athletics Club, a well-known figure of the local running world.

Following an energetic warm up, provided by Sarah from Inspire Leisure, and a warm welcome from the hospice’s Chief Executive, Hugh Lowson, the run was started by the Mayor of Litttlehampton, Councillor Jill Long, at 9am.

The runners set off from the brand new ‘Stage by the Sea’ on Littlehampton promenade and headed West towards the river before heading through Harbour Park and into residential Littlehampton.

Runners then headed back along the seafront going east into Rustington. They then ran along Greensward, back towards the Leisure Centre, circled Mewsbrook Park and then back on to the promenade for a straight finish.

This year, the party atmosphere was in full swing thanks to the Splash FM sound stage with DJ Millsy. Special appearances were made by Littlehampton mascot, Hampton the Hedgehog, who was joined by Reggie the Red, Crawley Town Football Club’s mascot and the Littlehampton Carnival Princess to cheer the runners along.

The first man back, James Baker, 37, from Chichester Runners and Athletics Club, crossed the line in a blistering time of 33 minutes, 26 seconds.

The fastest woman was 33 year old Emma MacReady, running for Worthing Harriers, who completed the distance in a very speedy 35 minutes, 37 seconds.

Both serious runners, this was their first time running the Chestnut Tree House 10K Coastal Run, and we hope to see them both back on the start line next year! They both received trophies for their achievement on the day, presented by the Mayor of Litttlehampton, Councillor Jill Long. Following the race, James even went on to win the Fittleworth Flyers 5 mile race in the same morning!

This year’s run featured once again a chip timing system, provided by Split Second Timing, with start and end mats allowing runners to get more accurate times, which were then displayed on a screen at the finish line. The full list of results can be found at www.splitsecondtiming.co.uk/results.aspx

Sussex Sport Photography were also on hand to capture the event and their photographs are available on their website, www.sussexsportphotography.com. A percentage of the proceeds from the sale of images will go to Chestnut Tree House.

Said event organiser, Nicky Ifould: “We are absolutely delighted that so many runners came out to support our 10k Coastal Run. We are on track to raise over £50,000 for the hospice this year, which will be fantastic. That sum will pay for a whole week of care provided by Chestnut Tree House, both at the hospice as well as in families’ own homes right across Sussex.

“Our Community Nurses visit children and their families at home, while children being cared for at the hospice are able to enjoy the hydrotherapy pool, relax in the multi-sensory room and join in with a whole host of activities - whilst mum and dad get the chance to have a much-needed rest.

“We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped on the day – East Beach Café for the free drink vouchers for all our runners. The Mayor of Littlehampton Town Council, Councillor Jill Long, kindly started the race and presented the trophies to the fastest male and fastest female. Thanks go to Physical Revolution for providing a fantastic post event massage service; to Sussex 4x4 for marshalling some of the larger road closures on the route, and Complete Event Marshalling for providing a team of marshals.

“A huge thanks to Dave Bowerman and his colleague from Travis Perkins for not only generously lending us crowd control barriers (courtesy of Deborah Services Ltd) but also for giving up their time to distribute these and all our road signage.

“Jim Bernardin and his fantastic steel band from World Music Workshops provided the runners with some fantastic motivational music out on the route. Further thanks go to Winner Events for kindly lending us a generator free of charge to power our inflatable gantry; to Steyning AC for kindly lending us the race clock; to Clif bar for once again supplying energy bars for our goody bags; and to Inspire Leisure for their continued support and for manning one of our water stations.

“Finally, a heartfelt thank you to all the runners who took part, to all the spectators who came to cheer them on, and the many volunteers without whose help the event would not have been possible – your support really has made a big difference to all the children and families who use Chestnut Tree House.”

If you are feeling inspired and would like to run for us, please check out the running page on our website www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk

We have charity places in some really exciting runs such as the BUPA Great South Run and the Brighton Marathon so why not join the Chestnut Tree House running team today?

Report and pictures contributed by Chestnut Tree House.