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Our annual Littlehampton 10k returned on Sunday 8 September to Littlehampton Beach Promenade for the 16th year.
With a new 5k route for 2019, the Littlehampton 10k & 5k attracted 1,600 runners – from individuals and groups of friends to corporate groups and running clubs – and is set to raise £70,000 for Chestnut Tree House.
Keith Akerman, 46, from Chichester ran the 5k route and was the first person to cross the finish line. He was followed by the 5k runner-up, Stuart Adesilu, and fastest female 5k runner, Alice Cox-Rusbridge, 18, also from Chichester. Both Keith and Alice are part of the Chichester Runners club.
The 10k race was won by 35-year-old Jamie Corbett from Worthing, with Gary Tomlinson in second place. Penny Scott-Andrews, 39, from Angmering was the fastest female 10k runner. Jamie and Penny (pictured with trophies) both run with Worthing & District Harriers.
Trophies were presented by the Mayor of Littlehampton, Tracey Baker, and Chestnut Tree House Trustee, Ruth Taylor. Tracey Baker also helped by officially starting the race.
In addition to runners pushing for personal bests, there were several individuals and teams running in memory of children cared for by Chestnut Tree House.
Led by Lorna and Steve Cobbett (pictured), and inspired by their triplet daughter, Essie, who sadly passed away aged 18 months in August 2017, Team Essie has played a prominent part in the Littlehampton 10k for the last two years. Made up of around 100 runners dressed in bespoke red t-shirts, Team Essie is hoping to raise £15,000 by taking part in this year’s event.
Another large team running in memory of a loved one was Team Rudy. 28 people joined Andy and Laura Heward to form the team in memory of their son, Rudy, who was stillborn at 39 weeks.
“We took part in the Littlehampton 10k to say thank you,” says Andy Heward. “Chestnut Tree House helped me, and my family, in a difficult time, so we did the run and fundraised for them in Rudy’s memory.” Team Rudy are set to raise over £5,000.
Among the individuals running was Ben Thornton (pictured), from Shoreham-by-Sea, who ran the 10k route in memory of his daughter Ellie, who sadly died, aged 11, after she was involved in a road traffic accident in West Sussex as she walked to school in March 2017.
So far, Ben has raised £590 by taking part in the event – enough to pay for over two hours of all Chestnut Tree House’s care services.
Ben Thornton says: “I decided to do the Littlehampton 10k on my own, as with my training, running has been a time to gather my thoughts and think about Ellie, and that’s what I did on Sunday morning. I reflected on Ellie’s achievements and all of our amazing memories together and I thought about all the children and their families at Chestnut Tree House.
“I’ve always been aware of Chestnut Tree House as my parents are volunteers there. I remember the first time I visited; I thought what an amazing place. I was blown away by the facilities, and this inspired me to raise money for Chestnut Tree House when I trekked to Everest Base Camp.
“When Ellie passed away, she was taken to the house and we were able to see her before the funeral. It took some of our concern away as we knew she was in a safe place. We were offered counselling services, which we assumed would be short term, but we still use them two years on. Chestnut Tree House provides ongoing support for our family and we know that they will always be there for us”.
Andrew Battley, Challenge Events Fundraiser at Chestnut Tree House says: “We would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who took part in the Littlehampton 10k and 5k. It’s a very special event for us as it was our original fundraising event, which has been running as long as we have. We are so grateful for the ongoing support we have received over the last 16 years, as without this, we wouldn’t be able to continue helping local life-limited children and their families.
“We need to raise £6,850 every day to pay for all the specialist care services at Chestnut Tree House – both at the hospice and in families’ own homes across Sussex and South East Hampshire, which makes events like this invaluable.
“Sponsorship money is still coming in, but our amazing runners are on track to raise an incredible £70,000, which will cover over 10 days of all our care services.
“In addition to the participants, we would like to thank all the supporters and volunteers who helped by generously donating their time and services. Thank you for making a difference and helping us to care for local children and families. We couldn’t do it without you.”
Runners can find their race times here.