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Paul Trigwell Island Run attracts hundreds of runners for eighth annual fundraiser for Sheppey children

By Emma Grove

Record numbers of fundraisers donned a range of fancy dress costumes to take part in the eighth annual Paul Trigwell Island Run (PTIR) at the weekend.

It might not have been glorious sunshine for those who joined in, but the rain stayed away for the runners yesterday morning.

More than 700 people joined in with the four courses – a 10-mile walk; 10-mile run and 10-mile relay which all left from Leysdown and a two-mile run which started at the Minster Leas.

Hundreds of runners starting the 2-mile race from Minster Leas

The most popular was the two-mile course, which 500 had signed up to.

Thousands of people turned up to cheer them on and see the runners over the finish line at Beachfields Park, Sheerness.

This year’s theme was cartoons and characters on show included Spongebob Squarepants, The Simpsons, Cat in the Hat, The Flintstones, Mickey and Minnie Mouse and many more.

Families took part together and there were dozens of brownies, guides and footballers running too.

The PTIR is one of Sheppey’s biggest fundraisers and is in support of memory of the Paul Trigwell Memorial Fund, which was set up in memory of the head teacher of St George’s Middle School, who died in 2006.

A contingent from his former school also took part.

Nikki Vidler, Michaela Shepheard and Julie Stevens preparing for the 10-mile walk

The trust aims to support Island children and organisers hope this year’s will have boosted the total it has raised to £100,000.

They needed to raise £10,000 to do that and Mr Trigwell’s widow Fiona said she thinks they might have achieved that, but won’t know until all the sponsorship money is in.

She said once again she was overwhelmed with the support and effort everyone put in to the event.

“It was wonderful and just absolutely amazing,” she said.

“The atmosphere was incredible and we had record numbers taking part.

“I would like to thank absolutely everyone that was involved and put in the time and effort.

“What happened is that the community went out to support itself and that to me means more than anything else.”

The team from the Halfway Houses pub came first in the relay and the rest of the winners will be announced next week.

For more photos, see this week's Sheerness Times Guardian, out Wednesday.

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