09:20AM, Monday 05 March 2012
The first annual Bunny Run was hailed a great success in Maidenhead yesterday. Despite the wet weather about 150 runners donned bunny ears, tails and bow ties to take part in the 5km race.
Children as young as six took part, some on scooters, while the oldest runner was 87. The run started and finished at Oaken Grove Park, with runners taking in a figure-of-eight along the nearby streets.
The run was organised by the Rotary Club of Maidenhead Thames and last year's president Stephan Stephan said: "It's been really brilliant.
"I'm really pleased with the turnout, some people have gone the extra mile and put in extra effort with their bunny outfits, it's really cheery."
While most people came from the town, runners from London, Reading and High Wycombe took part, as well as 55 volunteers who manned stalls and marshalled the street closures.
Stephan said: "It's a community event to encourage happiness and combat the 'doom and gloom' about the economy.
"It's uplifting because it's the start of spring."
He said the first Sunday in March was a good time for the event as it's before the running season starts and won't be affected by Easter holidays.
"After Christmas it's a date for people to aim to get fit for," he added.
He said he would like to see the race get bigger each year to attract 1,500 people within five years, and possibly be extended to an optional 10km run.
Joseph Chang, from Surbiton, was first across the finish line in 20 minutes and 19 seconds. The 33-year-old runner said: "It was great fun but a bit windy with the ears on."
Trophies for the fastest female, fastest male and fastest person over 60 were presented by the Mayor Cllr Asghar Majeed. They also received gift vouchers from Waitrose.
Money raised by sponsorship will be split between charities of the runner's choice and Rotary Club charities. Stephan said he hoped the event would raise up to £1,000.
Because the event was sponsored by the Michael Shanly Charitable Trust more of the competitors' entry fees can go to good causes.
See all the photos in Thursday's Advertiser.
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