Horley’s very own sport superstar

Katie Foss, 8, has wowed Tilgate Parkrun runners by being the fastest female to run 5km. She has done several triathlons and events for charity too. Pic Steve Robards SR1611181 SUS-160419-133559001
Katie Foss, 8, has wowed Tilgate Parkrun runners by being the fastest female to run 5km. She has done several triathlons and events for charity too. Pic Steve Robards SR1611181 SUS-160419-133559001

A girl from Horley has outshined her co-runners by becoming the fastest female to complete a 5km run around Tilgate Park.

Katie Foss, eight, takes part in Tilgate Parkrun with her mum almost every weekend and on Saturday April 9 she became the fastest female to complete the 5km run.

She completed the run in 22.24 and was the 29th fastest female finisher.

Her success continued a week later when Katie came first in the under-9s girls’ Brighton Marathon Mini Mile race ahead of the adult marathon event. She was one of 189 girls taking part.

Her proud dad, Ray, said: “Katie’s mum does a lot of running and Katie first tried running two years ago and began the Tilgate Parkruns about six months ago and really enjoys it.

“Since she started, she’s been getting faster and faster and when she does her school cross-country events, she is in the top. Faster than a lot of the boys.”

After two years of running practice, Katie is already a lot faster than her mum. So much so that when she is on the Saturday morning Parkrun, she leaves her mum behind.

Ray added: “She’s been getting better and better and everyone seems to know her because she is one of the youngest that runs, and also one of the fastest.”

There are around 360 people who regularly take part in the Tilgate Parkruns, but Katie often outruns a lot of them. She is also amongst the youngest of children who take part.

Her competitive and sport-filled life began at the young age of three, when her mum put her in for swimming classes with Virgin Active.

She then competed in her first swimming competition at the age of four, only a year after having started lessons. It seems that Katie was born to be a sport superstar.

Since that first competition, Katie has gone on to become a member of the Redhill and Reigate swimming club and more recently a member of the Crawley swimming club; often competing in competitions and galas for both clubs.

Katie, who attends Meath Green Junior School, is not only sporty but also very charitable. She made the wise decision to use her varied sport skills to raise money for local and national charities.

She has raised a wonderful £2,000 in the last year for a variety of charities of her choice; including Help for Heroes, Marie Curie, Cancer Research and Comic Relief.

Her most recent charity event was a swimathon for Comic Relief, raising £380 for the charity.

The swimathon had Katie swim 100 lengths of a pool in just 59 minutes, which is quite the achievement.

This year, her charity events are continuing and she will be taking part in two separate triathalons.

The first of these is in aid of charity Katie loves raising money for, Help for Heroes. This will be the second consecutive year that Katie will be participating in this event. Katie is very fond of the work that Help for Heroes provide and last year was given a special fundraising tshirt to wear during the event.

The second triathalon she will be competing in was recommended to her by her current schools’ headmaster, proving her sporty-nature does not go unnoticed.

The Tilgate Parkrun begins every Saturday at 9am and encourges people of all ages to come along and run with them in a non-competitive manner.

They also host a post-run coffee morning at the Tilgate Forest Golf Centre, for those to run to catch their breath again and make friends with one another.

The Tilgate Park team are looking for volunteers to help keep the runs going every week. If you are interested in helping email, tilgatehelpers@parkrun.com.

For more information on the park run or to find one in your local park, visit, www.parkrun.org.uk/tilgate