I ran "Run Reigate 2017" for Samaritans of East Surrey!

2017 Running Awards logo - Gold Best Half Marathon

Car parks, cakes and cheering – yes, it was Run Reigate 2017


We had a really successful, and fun, day at Run Reigate which took place on Sunday 17 September. It was the event’s fourth edition and it was hugely popular with Dame Kelly Holmes starting both the 10K and the Half Marathons which saw almost 3,000 people running. That number was swelled by lots of spectators – and lots of dogs!!!
As one of the seven charity partners we were allocated 2 car parks which meant getting up extremely early on the Sunday morning as the first one opened at 07:00. Thank goodness as Samaritans we’re used to early starts and, although it was a bit chilly it was at least dry. Our car park attendants (Jackie, Jill, Lesley, Susan and Joe) did a sterling job and collected about £250 in donations.
In addition to the car parks, we also ran a stall in the event village. Preparation for the stall started the night before with Russell 306 and Shane 182 putting up the gazebo and loading up Russell’s car with all our promotional material. It was then back to Priory Park at some unearthly hour the next morning to set everything up. I have to say it felt a bit like "Challenge Anneka" when it came to erecting our flying banners, on loan from Ceneral Office, but we got there in the end. By the time we’d finished the stall looked very jolly with bunting, balloons and our Samaritans umbrellas. The volunteers (Jill, Liz, Miles, Amy) on our stall also looked very fetching in their Samaritans tabards and there are photos to prove it!
Children were attracted to our stall by the banger sticks. Nope, I didn’t have a clue what they were to start with, but I discovered that you blew them up to make sausage-like balloons which you then banged together to make a noise. Needless to say children and adults alike were also enticed to come over by the lovely cakes that had been baked by our volunteers. Although the cakes were free almost everyone gave a donation and stopped for a chat.
The key word in Run Reigate is “Run” and we had five brave and kind souls who volunteered to run for us and raise sponsorship money for our branch. They were David, Jane s son Solomon, Amy, Siobhain, and Melody (a friend of Lesley's).
The event was certainly worth the hard work. We spoke to several people who said that they might be interested in volunteering for us, we also had some worthwhile conversations with other people and gave away a lot of caller awareness material - as well as balloons.
Some flavoured milk drinks were kindly donated to the branch by a company that we got talking to at the event. They were keen to support us but didn’t have the time to volunteer.
The total raised from the car parks, stall and sponsorship was £2634 - Fantastic!!
So, a big thank you to everyone who helped and, if you get a chance next year, do get in-volved. It really is “A Grand Day Out” as Wallace and Gromit would say.

From an Samaritans of East Surrey Runner –

' It was a pleasure to run the 10km at RunReigate for Samaritans, I've been keen to get into some fundraising for a while now, so this was a great opportunity. We had good weather and there was a great atmosphere on the day which spurred me to complete the run in 55 minutes (which I couldn't believe as I had to stop to walk twice during the epic hill at the end of the race, and hadn't done much training, so I was chuffed!). I'm definitely going to enter again next year and potentially even train for the half marathon.
I recently moved to Godstone, and transferred from the Central London Branch to our Reigate Branch, so this was a good chance to meet fellow volunteers and get involved. I've been warmly welcomed to life at our local branch so thank you to you all, and I hope to meet lots more of you on shift soon! Thank you to Ann for organising this event so well, and to all of the other volunteers who ran, or came to help fundraise and run the stall on the day. I'm looking forward to the next fundraising event we do! '  Amy