Runners take up charity challenge

St Helens annual 10k fun run from Saints stadium
St Helens annual 10k fun run from Saints stadium

MORE than 1,500 runners pounded the streets of St Helens as they took part in the third renewal of the town’s annual 10K event.

Starting and finishing at Langtree Park, the participants braved freezing temperatures to set off at 9am on Sunday before making their way through the town centre and up the now infamous North Road hill.

Luke Bryan, who was paralysed during a rugby match in 1996, was the official race starter.

This year, due to renovation works at Victoria Park, runners had to skirt around the edge of the park along Bishop Road, Cowley Hill Lane and Rutland Street, as well as taking on a new section along City Road and Hard Lane. As ever, there was a mix of club runners, young aspiring athletes, sportsmen and women, a few famous faces and hundreds of fund-raising fun runners.

Top boxer Martin Murray, Saints coach Nathan Brown and ex-Saints skipper Paul Sculthorpe were all among the runners.

Sadly, event organiser Steve Prescott, the former Saints full-back now battling cancer, was forced to pull out before the race after suffering stomach cramps.

Among the charities represented on the day was the Steve Prescott Foundation, HoneyRose Foundation, Tunza’s Pride, ABF The Soldier’s Charity and Willowbrook Hospice.

Due to the popularity of the 2012 event, the race capacity was this year extended from 1,300 to 1,800.

There was also a 2K race for children aged between six and 11, which also started and finished at Saints’ Langtree Park home.

Gary Ward, operations manager at event sponsor GPW Recruitment, said: “The 2013 event was truly special and the increased number of runners around St Helens, training for the race in the cold months before, was inspirational.”