A Very Special Mile for Joe
Posted: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 10:17
FAMILIES and young children turned out in force for the inaugural Joe's Jog, a mile-long fun run in memory of 14-year-old Joe Humphries.
The jog, which was held prior to the recent Rothley 10k (on June 17), helped to raise funds for local charities including the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust (JHMT), which was set up to raise awareness of sudden heart deaths.
Joe fell victim to SADS – sudden arrhythmic death syndrome – whilst out on a training run in his home village of Rothley in October 2012.
The family fun run gave families and younger children the chance to be part of the Rothley 10k evening, as well as raising money for good causes. More than 70 runners took part, including JHMT patron and rugby legend Martin Johnson, who ran with his family.
Steve Humphries, chair of JHMT, said: "We were really touched to see so many people joining together to create such a lovely atmosphere and a real feeling of community spirit. After we decided to stage the fun run, it all gathered pace, with lots of families telling us how glad they were to be part of something that allowed them to show their support for the village's established 10k race.
"We only had about two weeks to promote the event across the community, so the turnout and the support we had has been fantastic.
"Our sincere thanks go to the army of volunteers who helped us with everything from putting up posters and taking photographs on the night to handing out water, marshalling and registering runners. Hopefully, this has paved the way to establish a very special family fun run in Rothley village, in memory of Joe, for many more years to come."
Chris Weikert Picker, Rothley 10k race volunteers co-ordinator, said: "We were delighted to see this addition to the well-established Mattioli Rothley 10k race. The people of Rothley and beyond have always been so generous with their time and so committed to raising funds for the charities the race supports.
"With the new fun run preceding the main race, they are now extending that generous spirit to raise funds for another worthy local cause, and remembering Joe in the process. We hope Joe's Jog will grow in numbers over future years."
Funds raised for JHMT by the fun runners are still coming in, but the success of the event means organisers are determined it will return next year.
First over the finish line were 12-year-old Cameron Harrison-White in 6 mins 38, 11-year-old Ryan Elston in 6 mins 44 and 13-year-old Charlie Jagger in 6 mins 46.
The JHMT also runs Joe's Mini HeartStart 4 Sports, a training programme that shares vital life-saving skills with local sports clubs. And it has just launched the Inspire Awards, an awards scheme to help young people by offering them small grants or mentoring to fulfill their potential in the fields of music, sports, creativity or entrepreneurship.
To find out more about the Trust's varied work, to get involved, or to learn how to apply for the Inspire Awards or Mini HeartStart training for your club, visit www.jhmt.org.uk
Read more at Leicester Mercury