NSPCC 60 Minute Challenge at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Diane and Darren Reed and sons Josh, 11, Finn, eight, and Lewis, six, were among the families taking

Diane and Darren Reed and sons Josh, 11, Finn, eight, and Lewis, six, were among the families taking part - Credit: Archant

Runners of all ages and abilities took to the track in the Lee Valley VeloPark this morning for the NSPCC’s inaugural 60 Minute Challenge.

John and Steph Sykes ran with children Josh, five, and Isla, one

John and Steph Sykes ran with children Josh, five, and Isla, one - Credit: Archant

The event saw runners take part in one of two sessions, Run Harder for those looking for a challenge and Run Together, for those wanting to run as a family or take it easy.

With participants ranging in age from one to 61, it was suitable for everyone – something the organisers were keen to create.

Francis McAllister, head of community events and fundraising, said: “A lot of mass participation events are either for elite runners or for families.

“This is suitable for both.”

Lee McMurray ran as part of his London Marathon training

Lee McMurray ran as part of his London Marathon training - Credit: Archant


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The youngest participant was one-year-old Isla Sykes, who was pushed around in her buggy by dad John.

The 47-year-old from Hampton, who was also joined by wife Steph, 40, and son Josh, five, said: “It was hard but good fun, we did about four miles.

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“We did it as my sister-in-law works for the NSPCC. My daughter stayed awake the whole time and my son had a good time.”

Lee McMurray, 35, from Victoria Park took part as preparation for a bigger challenge.

He said: “It went well, I did about 11k and I ran it all.

“I’m running the London Marathon for the NSPCC next year and this was the start of my training.”

All participants received a medal, while children were kept entertained by balloon modelling and a spotting challenge.

For more on the NSPCC 60 Minute Challenge, pick up next week’s Recorder.

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