Over 1,400 Runners for Chestnut Tree House 10k

On Sunday 10 September, a record-breaking 1,450 people headed to the coastal town of Littlehampton to take part in the Littlehampton10k run for Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice.

2017Littlehampton10k_StartThe annual event, now in its 14th year, has been running almost as long as Chestnut Tree House, which opened in November 2003, making it one of the charity’s most important fundraisers.

Taking place on Littlehampton beach promenade, with the route passing through residential Littlehampton, Rustington and Mewsbrook Park, the 10k run attracted a variety of participants, from individuals and groups of friends to corporate groups and running clubs. Attire ranged from sportswear and hi-vis vests to a team dressed as characters from Toy Story.

This year, the Littlehampton 10k sold out and there were no on-the-day entries available. Among the runners were over 100 people forming ‘Team Essie’ – led by Lorna and Steve Cobbett, inspired by their triplet daughter, Essie, who sadly passed away in August this year. Dressed in bespoke ‘Team Essie’ red t-shirts, the 119 runners have raised over £16,500 so far by taking part in the event.

Essie’s mum, Lorna Cobbett said: “Essie will always be my inspiration and I miss her so much. But I could not be more proud of her ability to motivate and inspire. This year was the biggest Littlehampton 10k ever, and that is partly down to Team Essie. I’m delighted that we were part of it, and that we’ve raised over £16,500 for Chestnut Tree House – a place that is very close to our hearts. I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who ran with us.”

The race kicked off at 9:30am, after a warm-up by Sarah from Freedom Leisure and More Radio, and a few words from the Director of Children’s Services at Chestnut Tree House, Linda Perry, and the Mayor of Littlehampton Town Council, Councillor Billy Blanchard-Cooper.

30 year-old Andrew McCaskill from Lancing was the first person to the cross the finish line after just 33 minutes, and Sarah Kingston, a member of Worthing and District Harriers, was the fastest female runner, finishing in 38 minutes.

Nicky Ifould, Events and Campaigns Fundraiser for Chestnut Tree House said: “We would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who took part in the Littlehampton 10k. This is the first time ever that the event has sold out – a sign of how much it has grown over the years.

“We need to raise £6,850 each day to pay for all the specialist care services provided by Chestnut Tree House – both at the hospice and in families’ own homes, which makes events like this invaluable as we rely heavily on the generosity and support of the local community.

“Sponsorship money is still coming in but we’re hoping that we’ll reach £50,000, smashing last year’s total of £45,000, which will cover just over one week’s care at Chestnut Tree House.

“In addition to the participants, we would like to thank all the supporters and volunteers who helped out, as well as our sponsors, including Harbour Park – our medal sponsor this year. Without everyone’s help and support, the event simply wouldn’t be possible.”

Images from the day are available from Sussex Sport Photography:  http://sspimg.com/Chestnut-Tree-10k-2017-Gallery and a donation will be made to Chestnut Tree House for each photo purchased.

Chestnut Tree House provides care and support to around 300 children with life-shortening conditions and their families across East Sussex, West Sussex and South East Hampshire. The cost of providing this vital service is over £3.5 million per year, yet the hospice receives less than 7% central government funding so relies heavily on the support of the local community to continue providing vital care to local children and families.