Thousands join Sport Relief mile
SOAP actors joined sports stars in a celebrity-packed fundraising event which saw thousands of people clock up a mile for charity.More than 4,000 people descended on Christchurch Park in Ipswich on Saturday to take part in the Sport Relief mile - a mile-long fun run through the park grounds and Ipswich town centre.
By Danielle Nuttall
SOAP actors joined sports stars in a celebrity-packed fundraising event which saw thousands of people clock up a mile for charity.
More than 4,000 people descended on Christchurch Park in Ipswich on Saturday to take part in the Sport Relief mile - a mile-long fun run through the park grounds and Ipswich town centre.
The hot weather did not stop people getting swept away by the atmosphere and at least two runners donned the all-in-one costumes of Superman and Spiderman.
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Famous charity fundraiser Lloyd Scott, who once completed the London Marathon in an ancient deep-sea diving costume, drew inspiration from St George and the Dragon for his mile and wore a suit of armour while carrying a 2001b, 9ft long dragon.
Eagle-eyed runners also caught a glimpse of their favourite soap celebrities, including EastEnders actors Joseph Kpobie (who plays Juley Smith), Mohammed George (Gus Smith), Charlie Clements (Bradley Branning), Matt di Angelo (Deano Wicks) and Louisa Lytton (Ruby Allen), who all turned up to support the Ipswich event.
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The X Factor favourite Andy Abraham, darts star Keith Deller, Ipswich Town manager Jim Magilton, Town legend Roger Osborne and Olympic swimmer Karen Pickering also exercised their legs for the fundraising challenge.
The event, part of Comic Relief and in association with BBC Sport, was one of 15 staged across the country involving more than 400,000 people.
It aims to raise much needed cash to help vulnerable children living in the UK and in some of the world's poorest countries.
Craig Oldfield, head of events at Ipswich Borough Council, said: “We are delighted with the day and the co-operation of all the agencies and the town people.
“For us, to have the opportunity to host one of only 15 events in the country is huge kudos for Ipswich.
“We put the bid together nine months ago and were notified we had beaten Norwich, Cambridge and Colchester and everywhere else.”
Mr Oldfield said the level of celebrity support had drawn huge crowds.
“We are the closest one outside of London and the EastEnders cast can come up and go straight back to London to the studios,” he said.
Meanwhile, two octogenarians took part in the Eye Mayor's mile “run” for the Sport Relief charity at the weekend.
Elizabeth Boardman from the The Limes retirement home in Mellis and Joan Thompson from Eye both walked the distance - on the athletics track at Hartismere High School.
Oldest of the pair was Mrs Boardman, 87, who told Eye's Mayor, Simon Hooton, that she had injured her legs in a road accident a couple of years ago.
Mr Hooton, 50, his wife, Sue, and their sons Will, 12, and Joe, nine, were among about 60 people who completed the mile-long course. The family raised about £50 for the charity.
Also completing the course was town council clerk, Joanne Saunders, and her son, Henry, ten.