Runners get their boots on to raise charities cash

A SUMO wrestler, a fat ballerina, a giant human banana and an oddly-shaped whoopie cushion were among the joggers in an annual race.

Costumed schoolmates Joe Rochford, George Duffield, Tom Edwards and Romit Patel were taking part in the Berkhamsted Fun Run on Sunday.

The gang from Ashlyns School in Chesham Road, Berkhamsted, play for Berkhamsted Raiders and last year dressed as Mexicans for the five-mile race, which runs alongside a half-marathon.

Romit the whoopie cushion said: “We thought we would get together, get some costumes together and change [our disguise] every year.”

The event is in its 29th year and half marathon winner Ed Banks, 23, said he was “so happy” to come out on top after six previous attempts.

Ed, who finished in 70mins 57secs, left his friend behind after the first two miles. He said: “I was running a lot of the course on my own.”

The former Berkhamsted School pupil, now 23, lived in Frithden until two years ago. Ed’s next task is the London Marathon six weeks from now.

Half-marathon runner Nick Birmingham, 65, was disappointed with his “slow” time of 95mins and 20sec.

But mum-and-daughter team Katie Hunt and Alice, 10, had great fun running with Gwen Ineson, her son Sam, eight, and daughter Emily, nine.

Gwen said: “It was a great atmosphere and we loved it. We felt everybody was motivating us as they passed us by.”

There were 1,206 half-marathon runners, and 439 fun runners including Gazette reporter David O’Neill who finished in 48 minutes in 234th place.

Winner Barry Walters, aged 55, completed the fun run in 29 mins and 53 seconds.

Organisers from the Rotary Club of Berkhamsted Bulbourne expect to raise more than £20,000 for The Hospice of St Francis and the Pepper Foundation.