Not for Profit

How the cancelled Gloucester 10k still raised £10,000

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 17 July 2020 7:00

How the cancelled Gloucester 10k still raised £10,000

The ‘original historic Gloucester 10k’ was due to be run for the eighth time this year, this very month (July) – and then came covid-19. 

It was conceived eight years ago after the collapse of a commercially run Gloucester 10k and rallied the troops with the slogan “surely we can organise a 10k in our city”. 

The idea was simple - to have a race that showcased the very best of Gloucester, that got the community involved in organising and enjoying the race and saw all proceeds going back to the community. 

Over the previous seven years “with massive assistance” from the people of Gloucester, the race has been able to pour back more than £50,000 into the Gloucestershire. 

Nigel Tillott, race director and founder, explained that this year it looked like the race could have reached the end of the road due to restrictions imposed by the pandemic.

“This year we held on as long as possible, but by mid-May we had to make a call. 

“Had we held on any longer major spending commitments would have been made. Gloucester Quays Rotary has been one of the major organisers of the event from day one and didn’t want to let it go. 

“It had already been agreed that Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice would be a major beneficiary of the run and initial planning had started in coordination with the Charity. 

“So, the Gloucester Virtual 10k was launched with Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice being the beneficiary with only 1 month to the race. 

“We had no idea how successful it would be, but thought that Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice alongside many other charities really needed the funds as most of its fundraising sources had dried up with Covid-19. Therefore, we thought that even if we raised a little money it would be very helpful. 

“We have been knocked out by the way the people of Gloucester and beyond, even as far as Australia, have bought into the concept. 

“A total of 560 runners signed up in end with over 40 signing up after the race weekend started. Many people who would never have thought of entering a ‘real’ race signed up.”

No mean runner himself, this was Mr Tillott's first chance to complete the event he has put so much time and energy into - a feat he managed (although admitted a technical error meant his time did not appear on the list of runners!).

When it comes to a business doing the business, special mention has to go to Shurdington headquartered accountants Randall & Payne. 

Its crack squad of ‘athletes’ were the fastest corporate team in the event – with a combined average time of 52.1 minutes - and they backed it up with the fundraising too, coming second highest in the team fundraising too.

 

Lee Summersm (pictured above, right), president of Gloucester Quays Rotary Club and boss of printing, scanning and copier specialist Elmrep, said: “Wow Everyone! I am amazed and incredibly delighted to be able to say that through your efforts the event has raised £10k in 10k. 

“This has been through the entry fees, commercial sponsorships, donations from those unable to run the original race and sponsorship donations given to those taking part and then topped up to £10k by Gloucester Quays Rotary to reach the magic £10k in 10k. 

“Thank you so much to all those that helped contribute to this total in so many different ways.” 

Matt Reay, senior community fundraiser at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice said: “When we got the call back in early March to say the Gloucester 10k had chosen to support Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice we were absolutely delighted and couldn't wait to partner with them with the event. 

“Sadly, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 10k couldn't bring everyone together in Gloucester Park this year, however that didn't stop Davies and Partners solicitors and the wonderful Gloucester Quays Rotary from hosting what turned out to be an amazing virtual event. 

“It brought the Gloucester community together online, encouraging people to cover 10k across the weekend in aid of the hospice.  

“On behalf of all the Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice staff, volunteers, patients and their loved ones we want to say a huge thank to everyone involved in making the virtual event the success it was.

“To the hundreds that entered and the 461 who completed their own 10k, we really can't thank you enough for your support. 

“By taking part you've enabled the hospice to benefit from funds we'd otherwise have missed out on. This will now directly benefit and provide care for patients and families right across Gloucestershire at this challenging time. 

“We really were touched reading some of the heart-warming stories and motivations of people taking part, from those running in memory of loved ones to those currently experiencing our care.  

“To put the incredible funds raised from the event into context it costs £10,000 a day to provide all our services, including the only inpatient unit in the county, our day services and our hospice at home services. 

“You can see the direct impact of every penny raised and how it will make a huge difference to local families.” 

Fastest man was Steve Kenyon with 33 minutes 16 seconds. First female was Anna Midgley who in 42 minutes 49 seconds. 

Dursley Running Club won the accolade for best fancy-dress theme in rainbow tutus and butterfly wings on their backs. 

Andy Jarrett who captured the most metres ascended leg for six consecutive ascents of Robinswood Hill. 

Inspirational stories on the event website tell of other motivations for taking part. 

“I have never run a 10k before! I wanted to do this in memory of my lovely Dad Geoff who passed away at the end of January. He bravely fought prostrate and bone cancer. 

“My battle to run the 10k was meant to mirror some of his struggle with this horrible disease. I made it and am very proud of myself. 

“I even impressed by partner who had made me coffee and breakfast when I got back – that is unheard of,” said one runner. 

“Mum passed away in July 2014 at Leckhampton Hospice. The care she received and the support they provided to us was amazing. This run was in her memory,” said another. 

Gloucester Quays Rotary describes itself as “a group of local people from different walks of life who get together for fun and friendship and seek to put something back in the Gloucester and Gloucestershire community”. 

Anyone looking to maintain their fitness and enter their next virtual 10k, or even step up to a half marathon distance, there is also a virtual event in September over three distances. 

You can run it your own way just as you did for the Gloucester 10k in multiple segments: www.sueryder.org/cheltenham. 

Gloucester Rotary’s next event is working together with The Pied Piper Appeal to stage its virtual cycling challenge – www.pedal4piedpiper.co.uk which runs from July 25 to August 2.