Northowram Pumas Running Club got 2016 off to a healthy start with a 2,016m family fun run, raising more than £1,000 for charity.

Some of the fun runners at the start of the New Year's Day event
Some of the fun runners at the start of the New Year’s Day event

The friendly local club hosted the New Year’s Day event to boost the London Marathon fundraising efforts of four regular members.

If you’d like to sponsor one of our intrepid marathon runners follow the links below:

  • To sponsor Deke and Andrew who are raising money for Sense visit Virgin Money or text ATDB69 £5 to 70070
  • To sponsor Shaun or Adam you can visit their just giving pages. Click here for Shaun or here for Adam. Shaun and Adam are both raising money for The Children’s Trust.

A total of 124 people of all ages took part by running or walking 2,016 metres (about 1.3 miles) or a more challenging 5k route.

The support from the local community was overwhelming and ensured it was a huge success. It is an impressive achievement, being the first attempt at a charity extravaganza for the relatively young club, founded in September 2014.

As well as being a fast cat, Pumas are great leapers – which made the club’s mascot particularly apt for runners welcoming this leap year in style.

The younger entrants proved their potential as prospective Pumas by leaping for joy as they crossed the finishing line.

All 47 children who completed the run were awarded with a finisher’s medal.

Daniel Standeven, 7, and Lucy Thornton, 9, proudly show off their medals
Daniel Standeven, 7, and Lucy Thornton, 9, proudly show off their medals

The most challenging part of the 5k route was the slog up Score Hill, although most people looked to be enjoying it:

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Committee member Ian Marshall, who helped set up the Pumas, said: “It was a dream of mine to see the event take off. I am a proud Puma. I’ve had loads of positive feedback and people asking if we will do it next year. The kitchen team and volunteers were amazing.”

Finish line in sight! Marshal Ian Marshall encourages budding Pumas Daniel and Lucy
Finish line in sight! Marshal Ian Marshall encourages budding Pumas Daniel and Lucy

Following the recent flooding the local area had suffered over Christmas, the organisers were relieved there was no sign of any rain to dampen the spirits of the enthusiastic crowd.

The frosty weather, which would have made a Puma feel at home in its freezing mountainous surroundings, did not deter the runners, and only made their hot pie and peas lunchtime reception even more tasty.

Many family members joined participants to create a buzzing atmosphere at Northowram’s Community Sports and Activity Club, and enjoyed the hot food and a selection of homemade cakes kindly donated by friends of the club.

And we’re off! Puma Shaun Casey gets the fun run under way
And we’re off! Puma Shaun Casey gets the fun run under way

Local businesses rallied around to support the event, meaning there were some fantastic prizes up for grabs in a raffle, including a HD ready TV and DVD player, FatBoy beanbag, £50 golf vouchers and £50 worth of natural bees wax candles.

These star prizes were kindly donated by local businesses Benjamin James Flooring, Aerial Waves, Stromberg Golf and Root Candles.

Local building firm Red House Construction sponsored the event, meaning 100% of funds raised will go to Sense and The Children’s Trust (the charities that Puma runners Deke Banks, Shaun Casey, Adam Standeven and Andrew Tudor are representing in the London Marathon).

Ludbrooks estate agents have offered a free house sale which is being put up for silent auction on behalf of both charities. Any interested parties are asked to contact shaun@wearenorthlight.co.uk to find out more.

Mr Marshall added: “We have created an event that will hopefully live long after my legs give up on me.”

Members of the surrounding community are invited to hold the date for next year’s challenge of starting 2017 with a 2,017m fun run.

Rose, 4, leaps to the finish line with mum Kate
Rose, 4, leaps to the finish line with mum Kate

The Pumas meet every Wednesday at Northowram Community Sports & Activity Club to begin running at 6:30pm. We welcome runners of all ages and abilities, with qualified run leaders. Further information can be found on our training page here.