Arthur Rank Hospice’s popular Ely Festive 5K sells out faster than ever

Ely Festive 5k sold out earlier than ever this year, with all 650 places snapped up by festive loving fun runners by 11am on 11 October 2017.

The fun run sponsored by Ward Gethin Archer and Cambridge Building Society - and organised by Arthur Rank Hospice to help raise the funds needed to support thousands of people living with a life-limiting illness across Cambridgeshire – will once again bring some early Christmas cheer to the City on Sunday 26 November.

Residents, and those who turn out to cheer on the running revellers, will no doubt be treated to some spectacular outfits during the popular event’s 2017 outing. Previously runners have dressed as snowmen, transformed themselves into herds of reindeer, become a bell wearing elf, a magical fairy, a Christmas pudding or even a fully dressed Christmas tree!

Stephen Mitcham, Chief Executive at The Cambridge Building Society, explains why they enjoy getting involved each year: “As an organisation, we are passionate about supporting charities and community events that have real impact. This annual festive fun run is a highlight in our Charity calendar: colleagues are always keen to get involved as event assistants or volunteer marshals. We hope residents of Ely and the surrounding villages will join in too, to cheer the fun runners on their way. The impact the community has, when they join together to raise awareness and funds for events like Ely Festive 5K, makes the biggest difference not only to the day itself, but also to all those thousands of people Arthur Rank Hospice will care for in the future.”

Participants cross the start/finish line on Ely Market Square at 11am, negotiate their (sometimes unwieldy) outfits on the circular route which starts from the Market Square and High Street (which will be closed to traffic), eventually winding around Ely Country Park, along the river, through the Jubilee Gardens, up Cherry Hill and onto The Gallery. As supporters cheer on those crossing the finish line, there will be a festive atmosphere, with Father Christmas making an appearance and welcoming refreshments of mulled wines and mince pies served from Ward Gethin Archer’s offices.

David Snodgrass, Finance Director at Ward Gethin Archer, said: “We really enjoy hosting Ely Festive 5K from our offices on the Market Square. I took part in the run itself for the first time last year, and really enjoyed the friendly, relaxed atmosphere - a nice change from more competitive running events. I have known friends and relatives that have benefitted Arthur Rank Hospice’s care, and I know that those running alongside me in our team feel just as happy as I do to be supporting them, and raising funds for their fantastic work.”

There will be medals for all finishers, and prizes awarded for fastest male and female runner, fastest boy and girl, fastest team and best fancy dress.

Having raised £63,000 since the fun run first began in 2010 and £13,535 last year, Tasha Hills, Senior Events & Marketing Officer, has high hopes that this year Ely Festive 5K will raise in the region of £15,000. She comments: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming all those who have been lucky enough to secure a place this year. We hope that - whilst (of course!) planning their outfits – they will also be telling family and friends about what they’re dressing up as and why! Each year we need to secure £7.45 million in order to provide our essential care to thousands of people, not only at our sites in Cambridge and Wisbech, but also across the county in people’s own homes. We hope those taking part will rally friends, family and colleagues to show their support through sponsorship of their 5k fancy dress efforts.”

As well as needing to secure £7.45 million annually, Arthur Rank Hospice is additionally still striving to raise the final £2.2 million needed to reach its £10.5 million target for its new home in Shelford Bottom.

For the latest news and to join in the chatter and excitement around Ely Festive 5K, you can join the event page on Facebook. If you missed out on a place for this year’s run but still wish to be involved, you can: volunteer to help with marshalling; donate a prize; inform local business or organisation about the sponsorship opportunity; or simply turn out on Sunday 26 November to cheer runners around the route or welcome them back to Ely Market Square. To enquire about event sponsorship, offer a prize or to find out more about volunteering and marshalling, please contact Senior Events Officer Tasha Auburn or Events Officer Abi Christine-Segust in Arthur Rank Hospice’s Fundraising Office on 01223 675888.

Arthur Rank Hospice would like to thank motorists ahead of time, for their patience as they cooperate with the event’s traffic management team between 10.30am and 2.00pm to ensure fun runners safety, as well as Ely Markets who have once again kindly allowed the use of the Market Place for the event.

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