Olympic Spirit Inspires Godalming Runners
840 runners of all ages and abilities, from across Surrey and as far afield as Barvaria in Germany, gathered together on Sunday 19th May 2019 to take part in the annual Godalming Run. Sport Godalming’s flagship Olympic legacy event raises funds for its Go for Gold Champions Fund, benefitting local young sports people including sprint kayak champion and aspiring Olympian Chris Carson. Chris joined the new Godalming Town Mayor Cllr Penny Rivers and her Consort Paul Rivers in cheering on the 1k fun runners, 5k and 10k participants.
Sport Godalming promotes sport for all in the community and this year the organisers welcomed two blind, guided runners. Erich Forster from Floss in Bavaria was visiting the UK on a four-day break and decided to register for the 5k run with his wife Karin. While blind runner Luke Freeborough signed up for the 10k and represented the charity Sight for Surrey.
Erich Forster commented: “Running provides me with real freedom and I am so grateful that my guide Tracy Burgess, from the Waverley Harriers Running Club, guided me on the 5k. It was brilliant to feel a part of the Godalming community and the atmosphere was amazing – I am lost for words. It has been a truly wonderful event and I recommend it.”
Mark Rowland from Godalming who also took part in the 5k and came second said: “This is a very special event and this year I decided to take part with my son. Compared to other park runs, this is much more diverse and challenging. I love being able to walk out of my front door and see so many friendly faces coming together to run.”
To ensure the event ran smoothly, Sport Godalming worked closely with the Waverley Harriers Running Club and Godalming Town Council, along with Waverley Borough and Surrey County Councils. The event was also well supported by volunteers and sponsors Charterhouse Club, Trade Direct Insurance and Alton Sports.
Tim Ostle, Race Commentator and Commercial Director at Charterhouse Club, made a heartfelt speech to the crowds as he introduced event ambassador Chris Carson: “All proceeds raised through this exciting event will benefit local aspiring Olympians like local kayak champion Chris Carson who has helped to promote the run this year. I encourage all young people here today to take part in sport and I thank Sport Godalming for making it possible for people like Chris to reach international levels. To all the mums and dads here today, it is possible for your youngsters to make it in sport too.”
Chris Carson went on to explain the importance of sport in the community and expressed how impressed he was with the organisation, while thanking Sport Godalming for their ongoing support with his training as he sets his sights on the Olympics.
Mayor of Godalming Councillor Penny Rivers who started each of the races also praised the run and said: “I think this is a fantastic annual event for Godalming and wonderful its 8th year has been such a success. It is amazing to think the event launched to mark London 2012 and now we are looking to help our young sports people make it to Tokyo in 2020. It is brilliant that more than eight hundred people entered this year and I encourage even more people from across Surrey to take part next year in celebration of the Tokyo Games.”
Rob Rees, Director of Trade Direct Insurance in Godalming has supported the Run for many years and said: “For us, being a part of this exciting sporting event is all about encouraging health and exercise in the local community. We are delighted that so many people of all ages and abilities took part this year, it is really inspiring. Well done to everyone who made this event so great.”