Over 1,600 men and women took part in St Elizabeth Hospice’s biggest fundraising event of the year, the Midnight Walk, on Saturday 10th May.
This year participants could choose to run or walk 13 miles – Ipswich’s first night-time half-marathon – or the usual five or eight mile circular routes from Ipswich Town Football Club in Portman Road.
There was a Cowboys and Cowgirls theme and participants dressed to impress in an array of amazing cowboy hats and Toy Story’s Woody inspired outfits and even inflatable horses.
Those walking in memory of a loved one were invited to hang a Tribute Tag at the ground or on the Tree of Remembrance outside the Hospice in Foxhall Road.
Event organiser, Leanne Carhart, said: “It was a fantastic night with a great atmosphere. It was lovely to see 1,600 men and women united for St Elizabeth Hospice.
“We estimate they have raised around £150,000 in sponsorship to help us to provide free local Hospice care in East Suffolk and South Norfolk. On behalf of all our patients, their families and carers who will benefit from this support, I would like to say a huge thank you to all the participants and everyone who sponsored them.”
She also thanked the 150 volunteers and marshals who helped and without whom the event would not have been possible, including Hospice nurses and Sainsbury’s staff who handed out refreshments.
Sisters, Mandy Berry and Jane Woolnough, of Ipswich walked the eight mile route in memory of their sister, Gail Mariott wearing inflatable horse costumes. Jane said: “We have done the eight mile route for the last few years and we love it, it’s so much fun. Our niece, Gail’s daughter, gave birth this morning too, which makes the day even more special.
Amy Graham, of Needham Market, and her team of 21 Ryan’s Angels took on the 13 mile route, donning their pink glittery cowboy hats and fairy wings, in memory of Amy’s husband, Ryan Graham. Amy said: “We’re so excited, I’ve been buzzing all day. We’ve raised over £3,500 in sponsorship in memory of Ryan which is fantastic and goes towards his Tribute Fund.”
The Rendlesham Midnight Rangers each have special reasons for taking part. They said: “We’ve raised about £1,500 collectively so far. We have all had loved ones cared for by the Hospice so that’s why we’re doing it.”
The rain held off and, at the end of the walk, everyone was rewarded with a medal and a well-deserved hot drink, provided by Starbucks.
- Line dancing from the Just Jay Dance group
- A bucking bronco rodeo bull which proved very popular, provided by Barry Dye Entertainments
- Elvis Presley impersonator, Simon Goldsmith
- Magician and illusionist, Michael Otton
You can still support the event and donate £5 by texting MNWK14 to 70079. The Hospice will receive Every penny from the donation.
Midnight Walk 2014 was supported by Town 102, the Ipswich Star and the East Anglian Daily Times.