The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - NEWS - Words: Joel Lamy Pic­tures: David Lown­des Twit­ter: @PTJoelLamy

There was a record turnout for the Great East­ern Run on Sun­day.

And as well as a few fa­mil­iar faces there were also plenty of new run­ners who gave the half marathon a go for the first time, as well as the 5k Anna’s Hope Fun Run.

An­nette Joyce, ser­vice direc­tor for city ser­vices and com­mu­ni­ca­tions at Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil, said: “As well as be­ing a record­break­ing event in terms of en­tries (5,383 for the half marathon and 1,401 for the Anna’s Hope Fun Run), we also had a lot of new run­ners, over half of which had never run the course be­fore.

“The weather was per­fect for run­ning and the sun was shin­ing which at­tracted the crowds, many of which were vis­it­ing our city for the first time.

“I would like to thank our spon­sors and the hun­dreds of vol­un­teers, busi­nesses and coun­cil staff who made this event such a suc­cess and once again put Peter­bor­ough firmly on the map. As well as all this, thou­sands of pounds have been raised for char­i­ties and lo­cal good causes.”

Ca­role Hughes, founder of Anna’s Hope, said: “This year the run­ners re­ally put the fun into the fun run. There were fam­i­lies, teams from lo­cal busi­nesses and schools and some amaz­ing cos­tumes.

“The Anna’s Hope 5k Fun Run has grown over the years and be­come a great way to raise funds and aware­ness for lo­cal char­i­ties. I was amazed at the sup­port we got from the lo­cal com­mu­nity and it was great to cel­e­brate with them with some cake at the end of the run.”

One of the run­ners was Mick McCann who com­pleted the half marathon in mem­ory of his son who died dur­ing last year’s race.

Sixty-year-old Mick was joined by sons Gra­ham and Richard and many of Paul’s friends and for­mer work col­leagues from Govia Thames­link Rail­way at Sun­day’s race and com­pleted the 13.1 miles in two hours 58 min­utes.

Dad-of-two Paul (32) passed away around the 12th mile last year.

His fam­ily are now try­ing to raise around £8,500 for CRY (Car­diac Risk in the Young) to pay for screen­ings of peo­ple aged un­der 35 to check for heart de­fects.

Speak­ing the day after fin­ish­ing the run, Mick of Orton Longueville said: “I’m not too bad but I know a few of the oth­ers are aching all over. It was a bril­liant day.

“I was lucky, I struck up a part­ner­ship with a girl from Nor­wich. We started talk­ing around five miles in and were to­gether un­til about the 12th mile which was a bit emo­tional, but I got through it.

“I got a fan­tas­tic re­cep­tion at the end be­cause ev­ery­one was wait­ing for me.

“It just feels like we com­pleted it for Paul. We fin­ished what he started. It’s dif­fi­cult to put into words.”

Reece Hill (30) who se­cured his job as a train pre­sen­ta­tion team leader with Govia Thames­link Rail­way for Great North­ern thanks to Paul’s help, said: “The race was emo­tion­ally drain­ing. Be­fore the start we tried to laugh our way through it but the mo­ment I started run­ning it just hit me - I was think­ing he should still be here, run­ning this, not me.

“After eight miles or so I stopped at a wa­ter sta­tion and just thought ‘I can’t go on’, but one of the run­ners saw me and Paul’s name on my shirt and said ‘keep going for Paul’ and it got me started again. The sup­port from ev­ery­body along the route was amaz­ing. Paul was very well known and re­spected in Peter­bor­ough.”

A group of around 22 en­joyed a meal at

The Farmers in Yax­ley after the race

with some going

for a drink after­wards.

Mick added: “We ap­pre­ci­ated all the sup­port from ev­ery­body, not just ev­ery­body we knew. Peo­ple came out and stood on the side of the street. The sup­port was bril­liant and it does help.

“The me­mo­rial fund for this year is just north of £6,000. We are quite con­fi­dent we will make the tar­get next year over dif­fer­ent events.”

To do­nate to the fund, visit: https://www.just­giv­ing. com/fundrais­ing/MichaelMcCann9.

The Paul McCann team

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