Hundreds of runners tie up their running shoes for Willow 10K in Hatfield
PUBLISHED: 14:20 08 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:22 16 January 2019
Hundreds took part over the weekend for the tenth anniversary of Willow's running event.
On Sunday, October 7, the annual Willow 10K was held in the grounds of Hatfield House.
More than 700 runners and walkers took part to help Welwyn Garden City-based Willow to celebrate the milestone.
Willow is the only national charity working with seriously ill young adults aged 16 to 40 to fulfil uplifting and unforgettable Special Days.
The event, sponsored by Wrights of Hatfield, also featured food, games, balloon modelling and other treats for the runners and their supporters.
Bob Wilson, Willow’s co-founder and life president, welcomed the runners and introduced Charlotte Winder who spoke about her mum’s Special Day and how it provided one of her last happy memories of her mum smiling.
The youngest registered runner was just two years old (junior 1K) and the oldest 80.
Amongst those runners were a handful of Special Day beneficiaries and their loved ones, some of whom have taken part every year, including Team Sale running in memory of Adam Sale, Graham Twigg, Charlotte’s uncle and brother of her mum Carmina and Katie Ward who had a Special Day ten years ago.
Once again Martyn Oakey from Nuffield Health Hertford did a motivational and fun warm-up and runners were kept motivated with the cheering volunteers throughout the course.
Bob Wilson said: “I remember standing on a stage made of crates and an old piece of carpet 10 years ago and since then, every year, we see this event grow – welcoming loyal supporters who take part every year alongside new faces joining to support Willow.
“Ten years is a massive milestone and it’s still so humbling to see so many people who have been touched by Special Days.
“Some we’re pleased have now recovered from their illness enough to take part, where others have friends and family running in their memory.
“The Willow 10K is a fun family event and, in turn, raises funds for families and individuals to create their own precious memories during a really difficult time.”
The Willow 10K has raised more than £350,000 since it began. The funds raised will be invaluable in helping to create more Special Days for seriously ill young adults.
• 5K men:
1st – Daniel Costa-McFadden, time 23.46
2nd – Callum Richards, time 24.04
3rd – Rafe Palmer, time 24.54
• 5K women:
1st – Melissa Mileham, time 24.26
2nd – Nina Hale, time 24.44
3rd – Sarah Callaghan, time 27.24
• 10K men:
1st – Adam Wadley, time 40.00
2nd – Duncan Sloan, time 41.21
3rd – Ben Walsh, time 41.57
• 10K women:
1st – Emma Pearce, time 46.14
2nd – Katherine Winn, time 46.29
3rd – Elaine Daly, time 50.38