RUNNERS will descend on Helsby next week – just months after heavy snow forced organisers to cancel the village’s annual half marathon for the first time in 32 years.
More than 2,000 runners learned they were unable to take part in the popular four villages race back in January, just 24 hours before the starting gun was due to be fired.
The thick snow and treacherous ice covering Helsby, Mouldsworth, Manley and Dunham-on-the-Hill meant the event had to be cancelled for the first time in 32 years, disappointing competitors who had raised money for local charities.
But although they were all offered the option of a cash refund, most offered to donate their sponsorship money to the club’s two main charities, The Hospice of the Good Shepherd and Halton Haven Hospice, as well as a number of local volunteer groups.
And next week, during an unofficial 14.5-mile run organised by Helsby Running Club, the runners will finally have their chance to present £10,000 to each hospice.
The event, to be held on June 2, will start from the Hospice of The Good Shepherd in Backford and go on to Helsby Sports and Social Club before ending at Halton Haven Hospice.
Carol Shaw from Helsby Running Club said: "This is very much an in-house club event just to celebrate the special circumstances of being able to donate so generously to the hospices this year.
"It is not an official race, but runners from Helsby Running Club will be running in their green vests or their green training tops.
"We all felt it would be a really nice gesture to run to each hospice to be able to present them their cheque in person, marking the unusual circumstances this year.
"Special thanks also has to be given to he generosity of the suppliers of goods and services that also waived or reduced their charges to us."
"The Hospice of The Good Shepherd are using their donation money towards buying a special bath, which costs £17,000 so the money will really help."
She added: "It’s not something we plan to do on a regular basis – this year was the first in the history of the race that we had to cancel it and we don’t anticipate that happening again."
For more information on the event, visit helsbyrunningclub.wordpress. com.