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Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Celebrations planned for Liverpool's 20th Christmas fun run
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¬†This Christmas will see the 20th anniversary celebrations of CAFOD's popular Fun Run on 27 December. The people of Liverpool are invited to burn off their Christmas pud by joining the event, which as well as countering the effects of yuletide excesses, will also raise vital funds for some of the poorest communities in the world. Tim Allan, Regional Organiser for the Catholic aid agency, said: "For hundreds of CAFOD supporters, Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without the Fun Run. It's become part of the festivities and it represents the true spirit of Christmas by sending yuletide gifts of solidarity and support to some of the world's poorest communities." The first Fun Run took place in the old seminary grounds at Upholland, where the track record for the 7km race was just over 23 minutes. This impressive time should not deter your average Sunday morning jogger however, it was after all set by Ethiopian World half marathon champion Cades Cades, who took part in the fun run in 1990. Other previous competitors include veteran entrant Monsignor John Butchard, who has taken part in the previous 19 races and will race once again this year. Visiting Masai warriors from Kenya, members of the clergy, local school children and athletics club members are all listed in the Fun Run's hall of fame. This year former CAFOD partner Joe Hena from Liberia will be on the starting blocks. Joe was forced to leave Liberia during the conflict and now lives in Liverpool. Some of the money raised will go to partners such as Don Bosco Homes in Liberia. This project works to demobilise the thousands of child soldiers following the end of the civil war. Although the run is competitive the emphasis is definitely on fun and participants are encouraged to not only don their running shoes but also fancy dress costumes. For those inclined towards a more sedate pace there is also a 3km trail ideal for pushchairs and wheelchair users. There are also stalls and games to enjoy, with a live jazz band to keep spirits high. Over £320,000 has been raised from the previous 19 Fun Runs and the number of runners has doubled to over 800. To mark the event's 20th anniversary, CAFOD Liverpool is hoping for a record turnout. CAFOD supporter Mike Merriman, who has coordinated the Fun Run every year since that first race in 1984, said: "It's amazing to see how the Fun Run has developed and grown over the years and I can really see it getting bigger and better in the future. It's a great way of highlighting CAFOD's vital humanitarian work, and exciting to see so many people making such an effort for a good cause."
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