The Golden Mile sparkled even brighter yesterday as runners got their multi-coloured kit on to raise much-needed cash for hospice care.
More than 2,000 took part in the annual Beaverbrooks Fun Run, despite the event clashing with the North West’s biggest 10k in Manchester.
Organisers hope the amazing turnout will help them reach their £80,000 target to help fund Trinity Hospice and its special children’s unit Brian House.
“The response, as always, was just incredible,” said Trinity’s head of fundraising Linzi Young. “Numbers were slightly down and we can only assume that’s because of Manchester being on the same day.
“But people have still come out in force and supported our biggest fund-raiser of the year. We can’t thank them enough.”
Fleetwood Town manager Graham Alexander sounded the hooter to get the race under way and then dashed off to watch his wife Karen run in Manchester.
Alexander said: “It’s a shame the races clash, but Manchester had staggered starts and Karen wasn’t due to run until 1pm, so I was able to be at both.”
“I’ve been to Brian House on a number of occasions and the work they do is terrific. It is a fantastic facility.
“I’ve seen the work that goes on behind the scenes to raise funds. They don’t get much from the Government and so they have to do lots of stuff like this to get money in. I was honoured to be asked to start the race.”
Fred Flintstone, Jack Sparrow and Spiderman were among the competitors who briefly rubbed shoulders with elite athletes before the hooter sounded and the Promenade was filled with a colourful stream of runners.
Derbyshire club Heanor Running Club brought a coachload of 41 athletes and finished first and second in the men’s race and first in the women’s.
Joe Rainsford, 21, romped home in 32 mins, 35 secs, well ahead of team-mate Cory Parker, also 21. Joe said: “I thought I could do well but I was surprised to win. This is the fourth time I’ve entered and the best I’d done was fourth.
“It was a tough first half because we were running into a strong wind down the Prom. But coming back was pretty fast. The support from people all along the route was fantastic.”
First female home was 13-year-old Lily Winfield, also from Heanor. “This is my first 10k and I really enjoyed it,” she said.