With memories of summer holidays dimming fast, nearly 500 people donned coloured sunglasses and a Rennie Grove Hospice Care T-shirt for an exhilarating experience at Colour Blast: The Scramble. Taking place on the Penn House Estate in Penn Street near Amersham on Sunday 25 September, participants tackled either a gruelling 5km obstacle course or a 1km colour run while being blasted with coloured powder to raise money to support local patients with cancer or other life-limiting illnesses.
The morning started with an energetic Zumba warm up led by Stefanie Stokes from Beaconsfield to get the blood pumping for the 1km colour run. Families and groups of friends of all ages joined together to be covered in brightly coloured powder paint as they raced towards the finish line to claim their equally colourful medal.
Charlotte Smith from Chesham said, “My son Jacob has a classmate whose mother is currently recovering from breast cancer and she encouraged his class to enter and take part in today’s event, she’s even running it herself. We have family friends who have used Rennie Grove’s services in the past, so we know the work that they do in the local community.” Charlotte continued, “I think it’s a great way to get the kids up and about, I know Jacob is excited to get covered in paint. I have also been inspired to take on the 5k next time as it looks like a lot of fun!”
Helen and Tim Murray from Holmer Green said, “The kids actually made us sign up – they saw the advert in the local paper so we decided to enter the 1k colour run. Our friends regularly use our local Rennie Grove shop, either to donate clothes or even do a bit of shopping. We heard of the charity due to some family friends using the service themselves. I think we are just looking forward to seeing the kids have fun today and enjoying the atmosphere.”
Victoria Brocklesby from Wycombe-based headline sponsor Origin Global said, “I’ve just done the 1k colour run and I’m about to do the 5k scramble with the obstacles. We did the Muddy Mucker last year and had such a fantastic time, we couldn’t resist coming back to do this one. We have over 50 people in the Origin team and everyone absolutely loves it. We are always on such a high after finishing the races. We are a fairly sporty group with varying levels of fitness and I think it’s great that this event caters for all. As a company we encourage a healthy lifestyle amongst our employees, and to be able to take part in something as fun as this certainly helps promote that! We would definitely be up for participating in something next year.”
Alongside the Origin Team was another team of 12 called “Nunner’s Runners” squaring up to clamber, scale, crawl and scramble through the 20 obstacles on the 5k course. Led by Karren Nunnington of Holmer Green, “Nunner’s Runners” were taking part in memory of Karren’s husband Paul who sadly passed away from cancer two and a half years ago. Karen has never forgotten the support that Rennie Grove gave to the whole family during Paul’s illness and recognised a need to support the charity, so she pulled together a group of those close to her to take part in events like the Colour Blast: ‘There’s twelve of us altogether and it’s fantastic – friends, kids from the school, a triathlete, my daughter, and my mum’s here for support too. It’s been great fun today, I’ve got a great team and I love them all.’ Karen has done a phenomenal job of holding her head high and speaking proudly about Paul and the fundraising her team have accomplished, having raised almost £10k in his memory.
Also eagerly lining up were Zoe and Caroline from Aylesbury who came along to support Rennie Grove as a family friend is in treatment and being looked after by Rennie Grove nurses. They love colour paint runs and took the opportunity to support a good cause and have some fun at the same time. Maddie from Princes Risborough used the event to celebrate her 13th Birthday and was accompanied by Esme, 12, “I love running and wanted to do something interesting and exciting for my birthday. When I saw this advertised at Tring station I thought it would the perfect thing to do - I can’t wait to get stuck in.”
First across the finish line was Ben Brocklesby from the Origin team who said, “I’ve got my two boys with me today and it’s been a proper family event. It means a lot to us as a local, family-run business to have a local charity to support.” Another Origin team member decided to take on the gruelling 5k route not once, but twice. Gary Brown, partner of Origin’s Marketing Manager, Alex Giles said, “I thought it would be fun, I did the Muddy Mucker route twice as well last year so thought why not?”
Another big team celebrating on the finish line was from the Amersham Health Centre. Dr Clare Gabe said, “We work extremely closely with the Rennie Grove Nurses and I cannot stress enough what a fabulous service they provide to local patients needing end-of-life care. Not only are they a fantastic support to us on a professional level, but also the support they give to the patients is second-to-none. They are always willing to go that extra mile to ensure the patient feels comfortable and informed every step of the way. They really are a wonderful team. We had 42 sign ups from the Amersham Health Centre, comprising families and friends of those who work at the centre. The atmosphere today has just been amazing, the kids are having a great time, and the adults have had fun too. We are all of varying fitness levels and I think this event has catered for that. You could run or walk between obstacles, depending on how you were feeling. It was a challenging course but I had a brilliant time.”
Jo Turner, Head of Fundraising in Buckinghamshire for Rennie Grove Hospice Care said, “There has been a fantastic atmosphere today with people of all ages really embracing the challenge and enjoying some multi-coloured fun. I would like to thank everyone for taking part and for raising money to help us make it possible for local patients with cancer and other life-limiting illness to receive the support they need to be able to stay at home with their families. We are hoping that today’s event will raise in the region of £30,000 which would help fund one of our hospice at home nurses for nearly a year.
“Our thanks also go to our fantastic volunteers who have helped in so many ways from registration and marshalling to photography. We simply could not run our events without this support. We would also like to thank Lord and Lady Howe for generously allowing us to use the beautiful setting of the Penn House Estate today and, of course, to our headline sponsor Origin for their support and for embracing the day with such enthusiasm. We are also grateful to our other event sponsors; Hurst Estate Agents, Dayla and Grant and Stone.”