Swindon Advertiser – Sunshine puts spring in the step at tenth Mad March Hare

Report from the Swindon Advertiser

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ONE of Swindon’s most popular running events marked its 10 year anniversary in style on Sunday.

As the clocks went forward and the sun shone brightly, runners and walkers from across the town and beyond made their way to Lydiard Park Academy for the tenth annual Mad March Hare.

The event, which is put on each year in aid of Breast Cancer Now, has so far raised almost £100,000 and organisers hope that the fantastic turnout this year will be enough to see that milestone well and truly passed.

Kathy says that is very much intentional and all part of making the day so welcoming for those taking part.

“It’s a really nice, whacky, fun event. We don’t call it a race, there’s no chip timing or anything like that, it’s more to do with encouraging people to be outside and active whether that’s walking, running or jogging,” she said.

“We’re dog friendly too, they’re welcome and they get their own goody bags too.”

In what felt like just minutes since the last runner had left the start line, the first finishers returned.

Leading the men was Simon Jell, of Swindon Harriers, while crossing first for the ladies was Leah Baker.

Setting the standard for the youngsters was Reece Prouse-Edwards while the first four-legged finisher was boxer LuLu, accompanied by her humans Tamzin and Tegan Harris.

But that journey makes their annual trip around the course even more meaningful.

“We love doing it,” said Carol. “We’re here every year, we can’t run so we walk it.

“We always dress up too, everyone is so friendly all the way round the course.”

Also finishing in the middle of the pack were the cast of the Wizard of Oz.

The group met just over 18 months ago when they joined Swindon Shin Splints as rookie runners. Since then they’ve bonded and finished two half marathons, the latest just last week in Reading.

Decked out as characters including the tin man, the wicked witch and even Dorothy herself, the group were big hits with onlookers and fully lived up to their “run for fun and friendship” mantra.

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