THE Lyme Regis branch of the Royal British Legion hosted its third annual Poppy Run on Saturday, to mark Armed Forces Day.
The fun run is held every year to recognise the service our armed forces personnel provide in the defence of the UK and its allies, as well as providing assistance to the civil authorities as seen in recent days in Greater Manchester and Lancashire.
Twenty-seven runners braved the scorching weather on Saturday, and were set off on the run along the seafront by the Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Michaela Ellis, who also later presented winners with their medals.
Among those taking part in the 3km race was 68-year-old William Russen Valentine, who was running in memory of his grandfather Alfred, who who served in the Army Cycle Corps and died 100 years ago during the First World War.
William’s grandfather died on October 5 1918, and after registering for the run on Saturday he was coincidentally given the entry number ’10-5′, which he proudly wore alongside a photo of the Army Cyclist Corps badge, as he complete the race in 20 minutes and 59 seconds, beating his target by one second.
While the run itself was held on the seafront, the event was staged from Lyme Regis Football Club, where local youngsters Millie Hutchings and Henry Larcombe also took part in a sponsored walk around the pitch, raising a sizeable sum for the Poppy Appeal.
Stalls and a bouncy castle were also set up at the football ground, and Lyme Regis Majorettes entertained with a display.
Several stalls, bouncy castle and music and PA system were all thanked for helping to make the event a family affair. It was also a great occasion for us to display our new gazebo in TRBL colours from which a raffle was held in aid of the Poppy Appeal.
Ian Marshall, Royal British Legion branch chairman, said: “This is the third year we have staged the Poppy Run and although numbers were reduced this year we believe the hot weather and a certain football tournament may have kept the runners away.
“These events require a lot of dedicated hard work from our committee members and other kind folk who give of their time and resources to act as race officials on the day. We are also indebted to Tesco Express Lyme Regis for generously providing drinking water for all our runners and officials.”
Mr Marshal also thanked Daniel Buckley and Shelley Larcombe who organised the run and stalls; Lyme Regis Town Council for route preparation; Wessex Star Discos for providing music and PA services; Lyme Regis Football Club for the use of the clubhouse and pitch; Pete, Jacqui and Ania ably assisted by one-year old Mason for manning the RBL gazebo; Councillor Cheryl Reynolds for assisting Annemarie Marshal with race registration.
He added: “Finally, I would like to thank Councillor Ellis for helping with race starting and prize giving and our president Philip Evans MBE, secretary Chis James and treasurer Jon Hunt for keeping an eye on the finances, and Alan Vian our town crier for helping with crowd direction along Marine Parade.
“We are very much looking forward to planning next year’s run which hopefully will not be held during a heatwave!”