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Record numbers for Silchester Fun Run

A record number of participants, some with an age gap of almost 70-years, took part in the annual Silchester Fun Run this month.

This year’s event, which was founded in the late 90s, attracted an impressive 494 entrants; the youngest, under the age of 10, with the most senior competitors, race veterans in their eighth decades.

The event, held this year on Saturday, May 6, is organised by the Silchester Association which was formed around 45 years ago to promote all aspects of community life in the village.

The fun run is one of three main annual fundraising events that support the continuation of much-loved local amenities such as the pavilion and playing fields, the children’s play park and the village hall.

Funds raised through the fun run, as well as the beer festival and bonfire night festivities elsewhere on the event calendar, also enable the association to pledge support to other community orientated initiatives at the request of village groups.

There was a 5-mile run and 2.5-mile run for under 12s, with a free burger or hot dog awarded at the end, giving runners an added incentive to cross the finish line.

John Davis, Silchester Association Fun Run chairman, said: “The fun run has been going for almost 20 years and has grown in popularity. We had an age range from babies being pushed in buggies, to veterans in their 70s, and a wide spectrum in between.

“There are two races on our traditional routes around the Silchester Roman Site and the woods of Benyon’s Inclosure which is a very pleasant trail run taking in the Roman Wall, open fields and the lovely forest within the Englefield Estate.

“There is plenty to do for all the family as well, with music and games and a circus skills workshop for the children, and a pop up café, bar and barbecue.

“A lot of the villagers help with the organisation of the event and act as marshals and helpers on the day and we all walk the course on the Bank Holiday Monday which adds to the community spirit and really brings the village together.

“And the event is well supported by the local pub and local companies giving donations or their amenities including the Englefield Estate, enabling the route to go through its wonderful woods.”

Thank you to Pete Hughes for permission to use his photographs.