This weekend 455 runners took on HARP24 – Essex’s very own running festival, organised by our fundraising team with the HARP24 committee. Not even the scorching weather could stop participants as they continuously ran the 4.2 mile lap around the beautiful Cherry Orchard Country Park across a 24-hour period. The event, which is in it’s seventh consecutive year, saw a record number of runners come together to help HARP raise funds to support homeless people in Southend.
An incredible 10,315 miles were covered by the runners, which is the distance from the HARP24 venue, Westcliff Rugby Club, to New South Wales in Australia!
Last year HARP24 raised over £23K, and we're hoping that this year’s event will be even more successful. Dina Jobson, the Fundraising Manager here at HARP said “it is amazing to see so many runners and volunteers come together and work so hard to make HARP24 the best running festival in town! From the moment participants arrive until they leave over 24-hours later, they are so upbeat and motivated, even throughout the early hours of the morning when fatigue has kicked in.”
She continued “thanks to our wonderful sponsors and volunteers, this event is our biggest fundraiser, and every single participant is literally helping us stamp out homelessness one stride at a time!”
HARP24 is a unique event welcoming all abilities from ultra-marathoners to fun runners, and there were various winners from a range of categories. Returning overall winner, Charley Jennings of Rayleigh, once again took home the Female Solo award, covering a staggering 109.2 miles from midday Saturday to midday Sunday. Lloyd Richardson won the Male Solo category coming a close second place overall running 100.8 miles.
The awards were presented by Steve Johnson, Chief Executive of Ipeco, who have sponsored the event since it began . Other winners included duos Great Westerns, Cirque De’sore Legs and Mixed Bealy, and teams 2 girls & their Mat(t)s, REDs Old Spice, Run for Fun 2, BRC B Team, Type Two, LoSS't Track of Time and Chafing the Dream.
RED’s Old Spice also took away the award for best fancy dress for their fantastic tribute to the Spice Girls, and Lord of the Relay also went to great effort with their Lord of the Rings inspired theme.
We are now busy counting up are looking forward to announcing the total amount raised imminently.