There was a hoedown at Jimmy’s Farm today when cowboys and cowgirls gathered to launch the theme for St Elizabeth Hospice’s Midnight Walk.
Supporters of the Hospice donned cowboy hats and outfits to encourage more people to sign up for the charity’s biggest fundraising event of the year, and even Bella the pony joined in!
The Midnight Walk takes place on Saturday 10th May, starting and finishing at Ipswich Town Football Club.
More than 900 men and women have already signed up – the fastest growth in registration since the annual event was launched nine years ago. Many are taking up the new 13 mile challenge of Ipswich’s first night-time half marathon.
There will be three routes to choose from: five, eight or 13 miles, and participants can either walk or run.
Everyone will be encouraged to dress up country and western-style on the night, keeping with the Cowboys and Cowgirls theme.
All participants are asked to raise sponsorship.
Last year around 1,300 men and women took part raising just under £150,000 for the Hospice.
Leanne Carhart, Events Fundraiser, said: “We are really excited by this year’s Cowboys and Cowgirls theme and it is going great guns inspiring hundreds of people to sign up early.
“The new 13-mile route is proving very popular with runners and walkers, so it is going to be a fun night with lots of money raised for local Hospice care for local people!”
Leanne thanked Jimmy’s Farm in Ipswich for supporting the Midnight Walk by allowing supporters to hoedown there today.
Midnight Walkers often take part in groups as a fitness challenge, in memory of a friend or relative, or just to have a fun night out.
Registration is £15, sign up at www.midnightwalkipswich.co.uk or for a paper form email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01473 707043.
St Elizabeth Hospice provides services free of charge to patients and their families in East Suffolk and South Norfolk and relies on fundraising and donations to meet most of its £9.1m a year running costs.
The Midnight Walk 2014 is supported by the East Anglian Daily Times, Ipswich Star and Town 102.