December 13 2013 Latest news:
Paul Joyce, Reporter
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Runners braved the snow, sleet and icy rain for the annual Brentwood Half-Marathon on Sunday.
The event, organised by the Rotary Club of Brentwood à Becket to raise money for various charities. But participants had to battle against the freezing temperatures for the event from Becket Keys School to Blackmore and back again through Shenfield.
Organiser Richard Thatcher, 66 from Ingatestone, said about the turnout: “Close to 2,000 runners braved arctic conditions to take part this year - just a few hundred less than last year, when it was much sunnier and warmer. It was lovely to see so many people taking part, however bad the weather.”
He added: “I received between 40 and fifty emails from runners, all praising the event and how proud they were to be a part of it.”
Despite conditions more like Siberia than the expected emergence of spring, Cllr Clarence Barrett, Cranham, completed the Brentwood Half-Marathon alongside thousands of Brentwood and Havering residents.
Cllr Barett said: “It was very cold, very hilly and very tough. My time wasn’t fast at 2 hours 39 minutes, but I raised £1,500 for a tremendously deserving charity- I am very happy indeed.”
Cllr Barrett donated the raised money to the Little Havens Children’s Hospice, a charity that helps families of children with incurable illnesses.
A spokesman for LV Insurance Ltd, who sponsored the event, said: “LV has a large office situated in Brentwood, and our company ethos is to support the communities within which we work. A hundred or so employees were part of the run- even the director joined in!
“The reaction from the community was wonderful. Residents would step out of their houses to offer biscuits and cakes to runners- a bit of sugar halfway along an icy half-marathon can help tremendously.”
Some runners put more thought into their attire rather than preparing for the harsh winter weather, though, donning tutus and Tigger costumes- one runner even dressing up as Wonder Woman to raise money for her chosen charities.
Sawyers Church also opened its doors, offering burgers, hotdogs and biscuits to both runners and supporters alike to encourage those taking part.
A landlady locked herself upstairs whilst “fearless” burglars smashed apart five fruit machines in her pub – this was the second raid in the area in half an hour.