A beautiful sunny Sunday morning on 24 September set the scene for Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s Colour Blast: The Scramble at the Penn House Estate near Amersham. This vibrant event brought together nearly 450 eager runners of all ages, ready to take on a family-friendly 1k race complete with child-sized obstacles or a more challenging 5k route with obstacles up to four meters high. Both routes came with the guarantee that participants would be covered head to toe in a rainbow of brightly coloured powder paint as they collected their medals at the finish line.
As registration opened, scores of adults and children lined up to collect their race number, Rennie Grove T-shirt and funky coloured sunglasses, some choosing to adorn themselves with pink feather boas, tutus or extravagant face paint designs.
Looking forward to doing the 1k route were old school friends Kiran Bhudia and Seema Davis from Amersham and Lila Ambasna from Pinner, who signed up to take part with their children, Ella and Leah Bhudia (10 and 6), Maya Davis (6) and Riya Ambasna (2); “We were looking for a charity event to take part in with the children and were delighted to see that this particular one was in aid of Rennie Grove. We’re looking forward to getting covered in colour but the extra element of the scramble and obstacles is also really exciting.”
Brother and sister Leon and Zoe Byard from Beaconsfield braved the colour in memory of their Dad, Terry, who was cared for by the charity’s nurses. Various members of the family have already participated in a number of events raising money for Rennie Grove and this time Zoe and Leon were joined by Leon’s wife Claire and children Georgia (15), Jack (9) and Eva (5). Zoe said; “It’s great to be able to do this one together as a family and we’re all really looking forward to it.”
The Morton family from High Wycombe came with some extra colour of their own as the boys Mateo (7) and twins Leon and Marcos (4) sported faces painted like colourful Robots. Mum, Reyes, said; “We’re looking forward to getting covered in colour and enjoying a good day out for a good cause. My mum passed away recently and although she didn’t need hospice care, it is so good to know that organisations like Rennie Grove are there if they are needed. It’s an amazing cause.”
Friends Joanne Essex from Thame and Kerry Wiles from Princes Risborough also signed up with their families to do something active together and to support the charity. Freya (8) and Jacob (11) together with Beatrice (7) and Arabella (5) were all looking forward to getting covered in paint and to claiming their medals on the finish line.
The 1k race kicked off with an energetic warm up lead by Rob Edmond from Urban Attack UK – who also supplied the obstacles for the event. Families, friends and colleagues of all ages set off into a cloud of pink powder paint before clambering over hay bales, wriggling through scramble nets and dangling across monkey bars designed specifically for children.
Caroline Carter from Hazelmere took on the 1k route with her 9 year old daughter Phoebe; “I thought this event would be great to do with my daughter as Rennie Grove cared for my mother-in-law, Anthea for around 18 months before she sadly passed away at Easter this year. It’s been a really fun day and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I think the best part was being blasted with all the different colours of paint.”
Darren and Laura Pearce from Northall near Leighton Buzzard, with their children Lily (9), Amber (7) and Maisy (5) also enjoyed being able to take part as a family. At the finish line, the multi-coloured children said, “we really enjoyed crawling under the net and getting covered with colour.”
Helen Poyser and Sean Mason together with children Gabriella (8) and Noah (10) joined forces with friend Bryce and Maria Griffiths and their children Jorga-Rose (10) and Summa (8) to take on the 1k challenge. The families who both come from Holtspur near Beaconsfield, said: “It was a great event for a good cause and it was tremendous fun. We would definitely do it again.”
Looking particularly colourful at the finish line was Neil Jackson who took part with his wife, Steph, and their children Ryan (6) and Isla (2 ½). Neil is very familiar with Rennie Grove as his Mum works for the charity and he said; “This has been such good fun for us all, particularly the kids.”
Yee King from Thame teamed up with work colleague, Rachel Banham from Wendover, and her friends Emma Goffin from Tylers Green and Elsie Walker from High Wycombe to conquer the 5K route. Yee said: “I have always wanted to do an obstacle race and this event has the fun element too. We’re all looking forward to it.
Those brave enough to take on the 5k obstacle route, gathered at the start line and were led off by the team of around 60 people from headline sponsor Origin Global which included colleagues, friends and family.
Victoria Brocklesby, Director of Origin Global Doors and Windows said at the end; “We have all had the most fantastic time and it has been a brilliant team building exercise. We are so pleased to be here to raise money for an incredible charity. On a personal note, the charity has done so much for our family and it is great to be able to give something back. Thank you to everyone at Rennie Grove for organising such an enjoyable event.”
A 5-strong team of friends and colleagues from Little Chalfont doctors’ surgery came together under the team name of “Who cares wins” to take part in the 5K run. Jeanette McGloin, Jo Nagle, Sara Basouffiane, Sue Hughes and Jo McEvoy were prompted to take part because they all have dealings with Rennie Grove through their work as nurses or reception staff at the surgery but some of the group also have personal connections as the charity has cared for family members. Although they were “dreading” it at the beginning, the team were absolutely elated, not to mention colourful, at the finish line.
Friends Matt Holder and John Marshall from Beaconsfield described the 5K route; “It was gruelling with trails, mud and high walls as well as the coloured powder. It was definitely a challenge but it was great fun and we will be back to do it again. It’s been a great family day and all the children have loved it.”
Cassie Terry from Chesham took part in the 5k while her brother Chris, and niece Poppy did the 1K together. Cassie said; “It was really enjoyable and I would do it again. There’s no doubt that some of the obstacles were hard, but I did them all! It’s been a brilliant day out and the whole family has come along to cheer us along the way.”
Nicki Smith from Beaconsfield took part with her daughter Natasha to tackle a challenge together before Natasha goes off to university later in the week. Nicki said: “We like to support local charities and I have volunteered for Rennie Grove in the past. Today was good fun with lovely views and we thoroughly enjoyed the challenge.”
Flushed and exhilarated racers were able to boost their energy levels with fruit kindly provided by Tesco in Amersham, quell the sugar cravings with chocolate donated by Ocado and wash it all down with bottled water from Dayla.
Rennie Grove’s Director of Fundraising and Marketing, Gillian Barnett said; “It’s always great to see so many people coming together to support Rennie Grove and also to see them enjoying the day. I think today was a great success and we have been really lucky with the weather, it just makes such a difference.
“I’d like to thank everyone who was involved in making this event such a success including all our volunteers and marshals without whom the event would not be able to take place. Thanks also to our headline sponsor Origin Global whose support has been invaluable and to Grant and Stone and Chilterns Leads for sponsoring colour stations and a special thanks to Earl and Countess Howe for allowing us to use the stunning Penn House Estate. We are hoping today’s event will raise in the region of £20,000, which will go towards providing 24/7 responsive care and support to local adults and children diagnosed with cancer and other life-limiting illness. Our hospice and home service means we can give patients the choice to stay at home, surrounded by their families and it’s really fitting that today has been such a fantastic occasion for all the families involved.”
If you would like to get involved in one of Rennie Grove’s fundraising events visit www.renniegrove.org/events for more information.