Brigg’s 10k Poppy Run and Military Challenge attracted a record entry of 350 runners. The event is the official launch by the local Royal British Legion Branch of the Poppy Appeal.
Next year, according to organisers, the event may be even bigger.
Race Director Paul Elsom said: “We extended the entry mark by 50 runners this year and next year we hope to top the 500 mark.
“We have had a great response from local businesses in the town and would like particularly to thank Pipers Crisps our main sponsors and Design Orchard who have sponsored our trophies this year.”
Setting off first from the Angel Car Park were the Military Challenge runners carrying their heavy army packs. Then it was time for the 10k field who were sent on their way down Cadney Road by a large crowd.
For one man, brought up just yards from the start line, returning to his home town and taking part was crucially important.
Paul Walker, now 42, fought for his country in the first Iraq War in 1990 and 1991 and has never forgotten the scenes from the desert battlefield:
“Out there we saw plenty of deaths, things you never want to see in your life again. I was in the catering corps part of the Army Flying Corps and we were just behind the front line. We never did much cooking of meals it was mainly about servicing the men on the front line with their packs of food to take with them.”
Paul, a member of the Brigg Royal British Legion Branch, will be laying a wreath at the Remembrance Sunday service in St John’s Church but he did not hesitate to get his pack on again when called up late for the challenge:
“I volunteered after a pint or two one night out three weeks ago and am running with Hobbit heroes. I must be mad! But it’s a great event this and raises so much money to launch the appeal. The organisers have also put so much hard work in, without the stewards it would not happen, so thanks to everyone who has organised the event.
Race Directors were Paul Elsom and Richard Bennett.
Some runners carried crosses and laid them by the grass verge on the roadside during the uphill stretch into Cadney. They were being re-located to Brigg War Memorial after the race.