Despite the rain showers, nearly 800 people from businesses across Essex and Suffolk gathered in Chelmsford High Street for the 3.5 mile race through the city’s streets and parks. They took part in an energetic warm-up led by staff from Virgin Active with TOWIE stars Harry Lee and Tom McDonnell, before the race was officially started by former Heart Radio presenter Su Harrison.
Su is a patron of Little Havens Hospice which cares for babies, children and teenagers across Essex with life-limiting conditions, as well as offering much needed support to their families. Little Havens makes the journey as comfortable as possible, controlling pain and medication and offering respite and care to those at the end of their lives. This specialist care is free for as long as is needed and is accessible at the family home as well as at the hospice in Benfleet.
The race finished at Birketts’ Chelmsford office in Brierly Place, New London Road where Su and the Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor Bob Massey, handed out the prizes and Liz Chaplin, a mother whose 12 year old daughter Ava is cared for by Little Havens, also spoke movingly of the importance of the support the charity provides.
The fastest male to cross the finish line was John Scaife from Wincer Kievenaar Architects Ltd in 18 minutes and 16 seconds and the fastest female was Jackie Stretton from Run Active who ran the course in 19 minutes 37 seconds. Aon UK Ltd was both the fastest and largest team with an impressive 45 runners taking part.
Although it is the final time that Birketts will organise the race before passing it to Havens Hospice for future years, the firm is hoping to mark its momentous 21st year of hosting the event by raising £21,000 for Little Havens, which is also celebrating its 21st anniversary this year. Birketts is now handing over the organising of Race4Business to Havens Hospices, the charity which runs Little Havens and other hospice services throughout Essex.
Rafael Ruiz, Head of Birketts' Corporate and Commercial team in Chelmsford, explained: “21 years after first hosting the Birketts’ Race4Business, I could not be prouder of the positive impact that the event has had on the local community, as well as the charities that it has helped to support. Since it was established in 1998, Race4Business has to date raised almost £600,000 for charitable causes and become an annual fixture in the Chelmsford business community calendar.
A big thank you goes out to the companies and local businesses that have supported Birketts’ Race4Business over the years and we are of course very pleased that the Race4Business will be taken on and developed by Havens Hospices as their own fundraising event, well into the future.”
Tanya King, Business Development Manager at Havens Hospices, added: “Thank you to Rafael and the team at Birketts and all of the runners that have made this year’s event such a brilliant success. We must raise over £46,000 each week so that Little Havens can be there for every baby, child and teenager who needs us, so we are very grateful for your support.
We are delighted that Birketts has passed the Race4Business baton to Havens Hospices for 2020 and beyond so we can ensure that it remains an exciting social and team-building event for Essex businesses for many years to come.”
Little Havens Hospice is part of Havens Hospices, which also includes Fair Havens Hospice and The J’s Hospice. If you are interested in taking on a sporting challenge for the charity (such as the Chelmsford Marathon or 3K Family Fun Run on Sunday 20 October 2019) please visit www.havenshospices.org.uk/events
The race results are as follows:
1. John Scaife (Wincer Kievenaar Architects Ltd) 00:18:16
2. Paul Miles (Chelmsford College) 00:18:25
3. David Lindsay (Aon UK Ltd) 00:18:48
1. Jackie Stretton (Run Active) 00:19:37
2. Charlotte Bishop (Run Active) 00:19:41
3. Heidi Steele (Guy Carpenter) 00:20:00
1. Aon UK Ltd - 0:57:37 (0:18:48 David Lindsay, 0:18:53 Lewis Patching and 0:18:56 James Foot)
2. ADM Milling - 1:00:33 (0:19:38 Keith Marley, 0:20:21 Artur Tretyn and 0:20:34 Leszek Darmochwal)
3. Visteon - 1:00:36 (0:19:45 Dan Unsworth, 0:20:00 Rob Milburn and 0:20:51 Jonathan Wyatt)
Aon UK Ltd (with 45 runners)