Runner takes on 20km scarecrow challenge
SELFIE Queen Anne Bland endured a five-hour run around the village of Desford, stopping to pose with more than 190 scarecrows at the annual festival.
For the second consecutive year, 49-year-old Anne, who lives in the village, set herself the challenge of running the entire trail, stopping only to take a picture with the scarecrows on display.
This year’s challenge, dubbed Bland on the Run, was made more difficult by the sheer number of entries to this year’s event, meaning Anne covered a distance of almost 20km.
Anne chose to complete this year’s challenge by raising money for a charity of her choice, she chose to run in aid of Loros, and has already collected hundreds of pounds for the appeal.
“I had an amazing day last year,” she said, “Although I ran for miles and was on my feet for several hours it was a wonderful atmosphere and the whole village was absolutely buzzing.
“This year was no different. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience and to collect so much for Loros was wonderful.”
Huncote Harriers member, Anne, ran with a Loros collecting tin while her daughters 11-yearold Beth and six-year-old Pollyanna, collected money for the charity outside their Gloucester Close home, where their very own scarecrows stood.
“The hardest part wasn’t the running, but the posing and picture-taking at each scarecrow, 190 pouts don’t come easy, you know!” she added.
A fundraising page has also been accepting donations for Anne’s mammoth challenge, with the current total reaching £350.
Desford’s annual scarecrow festival came to an end after again another successful year of entries, topping last year’s with an additional 70 exhibits.
This year’s scarecrows varied from a range of subjects including characters from films, actors, awards ceremonies and Hollywood scenes.
Anne’s running trail took her on an adventure from the first scarecrow of Indiana Jones, to a giant Osccar on Peckleton View, which also included her own Gene Kelly exhibit which recreated the iconic scene from Singin’ in the Rain.
“I loved every single second of the challenge”, said Anne.
“Everyone was so friendly and the atmosphere around Desford was amazing.
“Seeing so many happy faces and families out in force was very special.
“The highlight, though, was definitely having my family waiting for me with our scarecrow towards the end of the trail.
“I definitely plan to make it an annual running challenge.”
For photo opporutnities, or any futher information about the Bland on the Run challenge, you can contact the fundraising team at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the website at www. desfordinbloom.co.uk.
49-year-old Anne Bland above with her family, husband Paul and daughters Beth and Pollyanna, taking a selfie with their very own scarecrow, an iconic scene from Gene Kelly’s Singin’ in the Rain