Runners are invited to sign-up for the annual charity Boxing Day Run which takes place at the Devil’s Punchbowl on the morning of Monday 26 December. Registration is already open for the 3.5 mile run which raises money for Holy Cross Hospital in Haslemere, and last year attracted over 500 runners.
Local resident Matt Dellar organises the event each year to support the hospital and says: “The great thing about the Boxing Day Run is that it’s a really fun event. Getting out in the fresh air and our beautiful countryside to burn off those extra calories while raising money for an amazing local charity is the perfect antidote to the stresses and excesses of Christmas.”
Participants have the choice of the standard run or can opt for the drinking run where a pint of winter ale is served at mile two. Each run has a men’s category and a women’s category.
The route begins at the Devil’s Punchbowl Hotel at 11am and takes runners through local beauty spots at Hindhead Commons, including Gibbet Hill and the Devil’s Punchbowl. “It’s easy to register to take part on our website at www.boxingdayrun.org,” says Matt. He adds: “The run costs from just £10 to enter in advance or £11 on the day and every penny of the profits goes to Holy Cross. All runners will receive a number and timing chip so for serious runners, it’s a chance to aim for one last competitive time in 2016 while for others it’s an achievable distance which promises to be a fun sociable event.”
At 12 noon, the event will conclude with a prize-giving ceremony. Each person who completes the race will be presented with a medal.
Holy Cross Hospital provides specialist care to men and women with very complex needs, often caused by profound brain injuries or serious neurological conditions. The funds raised by the Boxing Day Run will go towards the hospital’s Never Out of Breath project, which aims to install a new system to pipe oxygen and suction straight to patients’ rooms rather than relying on heavy cylinders. The work to fit out its 40 rooms with piped services has commenced.
“We are extremely grateful to Matt for giving up his time to organise the Boxing Day Run for Holy Cross Hospital and to Keats Estate and Letting Agents for being a long-term sponsor of the race. I would also like to thank Haslemere Travel, the Hogs Back Brewery and the Sportslocker for their support in helping this popular event to happen,” says Christopher Hinton, the Chief Executive of Holy Cross Hospital.
“The money raised by previous year’s Boxing Day Runs has brought huge benefits to our patients. Piping oxygen and suction will give our patients the security of a continuous supply. It also means our rooms are homelier, with less medical equipment on show, and frees up our nursing staff to do what they do best, which is caring for patients rather than changing heavy cylinders.”
Never Out of Breath is a complex project, and its planning and design has taken over two years. The fundraising target is £200,000 of which an initial £150,000 has come from past donations. At any one time, up to half of the 40 patients at Holy Cross Hospital may need oxygen or suction or both and all may need these vital services at times during their stay.
It is recommended that runners register in advance as entry on the day will be subject to availability. For more information about the Boxing Day Run visit www.boxingdayrun.org and to find out more about Holy Cross Hospital, visit www.holycross.org.uk.