Essex: Staff fly high in Birketts Race4Business

OFFICE staff got down to business as they swapped suits for running gear to take part in an annual charity fun run last week.

Birketts’ Race4Business, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, has been running for 14 years, and reached a milestone on Thursday when it took place for the first time in Chelmsford following its recent promotion to a city.

Individuals and teams from businesses including Baker Tilley, Kier Eastern, Strutt and Parker, May Gurney, Bidwells, Equity Insurance Group and David Martin Estates ran, jogged or walked their way round the 3.5 mile evening fun run which started in the town’s high street.

Event commentator Andrew Tween and a team from Fitness First hosted a warm up session and the race was officially started by musician, record producer and song writer Nik Kershaw who thanked everyone for taking part and for helping a charity which was extremely close to his own heart.

Consultant at Birketts and event founder Richard Wollaston, who once again ran the race himself, said: “It’s been a fantastic evening and a milestone in the race’s 14 year history as it is the first time it has taken place in a city following Chelmsford’s recent status promotion.


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“I’m delighted that in its fourteenth year the business community is still coming together to support this event. I’d like to thank everyone involved, from the participants to the supporters. By joining forces for an evening we will have helped to have raised essential funds for Macmillan Cancer Support to continue to provide essential support for those facing the toughest fight they are likely to endure.”

Nik Kershaw met participants again at the finish line, by Birketts’ offices in New London Road, where he congratulated everyone on crossing the finish line and presented prizes to the winners.

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“The help and support Macmillan nurses gave to my father and my mother during his final years was invaluable and I’m so pleased to have the opportunity to give just a little bit back by supporting the Birketts’ Race4Business,” he said.

The fastest time recorded in the history of the event is 16.01 minutes and despite some fantastic times this year the record remains unbeaten. Wincer Kievenaar LLP (WKP) holding on to its ‘fastest team’ title for the second year running:

In the men’s race, Mark Newton of QBE Insurance came first, John Scaife of Wincer Kievenaar second and Paul Dobson, QBE Insurance third.

In the women’s race, Vicky Knight of Team Martindale came first, Emily Smith of pH2o Photography second and Ysanne Hine, Delamode Plc third.

In the team contests, ADM Milling came second and Team Martindale third.

The team from Smart Planning Ltd scooped the fancy dress prize after dressing as buildings from across the world, with Russell Forde as the Eiffel Tower, Linda Jackson as The Louvre and Alice Quinn as Big Ben. The costumes had all been designed and created by Russell’s daughter Jasmine Forde, aged 17, who spent two months putting together the outfits building on her A Level Textiles experience.

Other fancy dress which stood out from the crowd included Danny Benford from Inntel who, despite the hot and sunny weather, braved the course in a Lycra spider man costume. For Mark Forte, from BAE Systems ATC, the decision as to what costume to pick was made for him when he got his race number of 118 through the post and went in search of a curly wig and moustache.

The most unusual idea came from 19-year-old Amy Knight from Guy Carpenter who planned to complete the race on a unicycle. However, when the pedal came off just two minutes into the race, Amy had to make the decision to abandon the bike with a race marshal and run the rest of the way. But she has vowed to try again next year and to take a back-up unicycle just in case.

In the last 13 years Birketts’ Race4Business has raised more than �400,000 for good causes.

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