6 May 2018

The Dunham family had good reason to celebrate the blistering Bank Holiday weekend after a father and son double win at the YMCA East Surrey Fun Run on Sunday 6 May.

Local Reigate resident Francis Dunham was the first man home in a punishing Adult 5-mile race, completing his run in 29 minutes and 39 seconds. Both his elder two sons took part in the children’s races around Priory Park, with 5-year-old Harry winning a trophy in the Under 6 1-mile.

“It’s been a fantastic family event,” said Reigate Priory Athletics Club member, Francis. “My race was uncomfortable in the heat and the field went out fast, but I was up at the front all the way and there was great marshalling along the route. The boys have loved taking part.”

The first female runner to cross the line was Cheryl Evans.

The weather reached a high of 24 degrees throughout the afternoon and the Fun Run had 1,310 entries.

In the Adult 1-mile race, Ben Short cartwheeled to victory for the Horley Harriers, ahead of fastest female, Mel Fulton-Bell.

Kiara and Jake Valkenburg also completed a family double, with 14-year-old Kiara romping home in fine style in the Under 16 race and her brother Jake, 11, winning for the Under 12’s.

There was a very tight finish between the boys in the Under 8’s race, with Ben Whiteley just pipping Henry Mirfenderesky to the post in a time which was hard to split. Lizzie Brooks won the race for the girls.

All runners received a YMCA East Surrey T-shirt and a medal for taking part. Prizes for best fancy dress costume were awarded to runners in each race.

The Fun Run event was held in conjunction with Reigate and Banstead’s Sports Festival. With a focus on fitness, more than 20 local sports clubs put on displays and invited spectators to take part. An activity passport allowed attendees to collect stamps for a free go on the amazing climbing wall which towered above the park.

Fundraising was a vital part of the YMCA event and ‘Team McDougall’, comprising of Henry and Teddy McDougall along with friends and supporters, raised an enormous £1,050 in sponsorship from their run in the Under 16 race. Henry attends the YMCA’s Yip4Youth scheme for young people with disabilities and his family are keen supporters of the local charity.

This year, all money raised from the Fun Run will help to fund the YMCA’s play and leisure short breaks for children and young people with disabilities and complex needs.

Ian Burks, Chief Executive for YMCA East Surrey, said:

“Everyone who has taken part today is directly helping us to deliver these projects to the local community. Last year, our short breaks scheme provided over 37,000 hours of care to more than 230 children in Reigate and Banstead. We are now expanding the programme into nearby boroughs and are aiming to support even more families in need.

Well done to all our runners and thank you to them and to our many wonderful sponsors for making us a charity they have chosen to support.”