Arthur Rank Hospice’s 6th annual Ely Festive 5K brought some timely seasonal merriment to the streets of Ely on the morning of Sunday 20 November, as around five hundred and thirty runners – many in seasonally themed fancy dress – took on the fun run with their family, friends and colleagues. It is hoped that in the region of £12,000, will have been raised for the Hospice, which has just moved to its new home at Shelford Bottom.
Despite allowing for a 50% increase in runners from previous years meaning six hundred places were available this year, the 5K sponsored by Ward Gethin Archer and the Cambridge Building Society, sold out nearly two weeks early. Despite a stormy previous night, the day was not as cold as previous years and fancy dress outfits brought some wonderful colour and cheer to the grey morning, complete with a polar bear, several pairs of bright pink fairies, an inflatable snow man, lots of elves and the odd Christmas tree, making their way around a route which took in Ely Cathedral, Cherry Hill, Lavender Gardens and the Country Park. Upon their return to Ely Market Square, participants were presented with medals, heard live music from Sing! Choirs and were treated to mince pies and mulled wine, served up in the nearby offices of Ward Gethin Archer.
The Dog Bathing Company won the trophy for Best Fancy Dress Outfit with their dog and cat themed outfits, complete with mini-bath on wheels! Once race times were verified through chip timing, it was confirmed that Ben Morris was fastest man in 18 minutes 31 seconds, Lauren Thomas claimed fastest woman in 22 minutes 41 seconds (with Lara Edwards a close second in 22 minutes 45 seconds) and Ely Tri Club were fastest team for the third consecutive year with a cumulative team time of 1 hour 17 minutes and 46 seconds. In the under 16s category Alex Oakhill won the male category with a time of 21 minutes 16 seconds and Isabelle Gowler, from the Stretham Community Primary School team took the title for fastest female under 16, in 26 minutes 26 seconds.