Fun run in 1986 gave charity 8,000 reasons to smile

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Good causes supported by Crawley Round Table had 8,000 reasons to be happy after a particularly successful fun run in 1986.

Just under 400 people of all ages, shapes and sizes took part in the run at the old leisure centre, in Haslett Avenue.

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Most were on two feet, but several were in wheelchairs, little Edmund Thaddeus was in his pushchair, Marion James was on a St John Ambulance stretcher and at least two dogs scampered around the ten kilometre course.

The largest group to enter the run was made up of players from Crawley Raiders American Football Team, who ran the first lap in full gear to prepare for their next match.

When the Raiders headed off the track after completing their lap, they confused a lad called Gavin Smith, who had been running with them.

Young Gavin followed them off the course and was described as “a little dumbfounded” when they came to a halt.

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He quickly made his way back onto the track and finished the race in a very creditable 59 minutes.

The first woman to finish the run was Jacqueline Jones, followed by Kathryn Minchin and Amanda Payton. First man home was Ian Dunn, followed by R Wallace and Joseph Harden.

Roy Smithson was the first wheelchair user to finish. The first under-12 across the line was Nicholas Barrat, while the first person with a pet was Chris Jerry, of Tilgate, with his German Shepherd, Jade.

The oldest competitor was 64-year-old Bernard Hamlett, who completed the course in a special light-weight titanium wheelchair, assisted by John Parks and Mike Carew, of Horley.

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Patricia Dale, of Pound Hill, raised the most sponsorship money, with an impressive £545.

Crawley’s mayor at the time was Graham Todd, who told the Observer: “It’s smashing to see so many people not only enjoying themselves but helping others at the same time.”

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