PICTURES: ‘Biggest and best’ hospice 10k set to raise £60,000 for patient care

MORE than 2,000 runners helped make sure this year’s Wakefield Hospice 10k was the biggest and best yet.

A total of 2,200 runners took part in Sunday’s 22nd annual race at Thornes Park in Wakefield while around 400 enjoyed the 1k family mini run.

The Wakefield Hospice 10k runners prepare to set off.

The Wakefield Hospice 10k runners prepare to set off.

Organisers are hoping both events will have raised around £60,000 of much-needed funds for the Aberford Road hospice. First across the line was Joe Sagar from Spenborough Athletics Club, who finished the 10k course in 32 minutes.

Keeley Harrison, fundraising manager at Wakefield Hospice, said: “It was a fantastic day.

“There was a slight shower just before the race, but it didn’t dampen the runners’ spirits.

“It is the biggest event in our fundraising calendar, both in terms of the numbers of people taking part and the income that is raised for patient care at the hospice.

“Last year we had around 1,800 runners and this year we had 2,200. The race is growing year on year, which is great.

“This year was definitely the biggest and best yet. I would like to thank our event sponsors Richard Kendall Estate Agent and Beaumont Legal.

“And I would also like to thank the 50 plus team of volunteers who helped ensure that this years event ran smoothly.”

Nick Miles, who plays Jimmy King in ITV soap Emmerdale, started the race as his wife Stephanie joined runners on the starting line.

Mr Miles said: “I was honoured to be asked to start the Wakefield 10k.

“Whilst not a runner myself, I have great admiration for those that do – including my wife Steph.”

He added: “The work Wakefield Hospice does in its community is incredible.

“I don’t know where we would be without hospices.”

Wakefield Hospice caters for more than 300 in-patients and 1,800 day therapy attendances every year.

The hospice relies on fundraising initiatives and the generosity of the community to help meet annual running costs of more than £4m.

Pictures by Allan McKenzie, @LeeWardPhotograhpy and Sophie Mei-Lan.