The grey skies on Saturday morning couldn’t discourage hundreds of children from tackling the Go Kids Run! Henley Youth Festival cross-country race at Swiss Farm. Organised by Eileen Unwin, owner of ‘Go Kids!’, the annual event saw a great turnout of 185 children, all encouraged by a huge crowd of supporters.
Previously known as the Stonor Run, the race took place in aid of the Henley Youth Festival, which commenced on Saturday night with Gig Night and continues throughout this week. This was Eileen’s second year of organising the event, although she is no stranger to planning fun runs, with Go Kids! hosting three cross country events per year. In 2016, Go Kids! adopted sponsorship of the HYF race and moved the competition to the Borlase Field at Swiss Farm. Mrs. Unwin was quick to express her gratitude to the Borlase family for providing the use of their land. “[They] are so accommodating,” she said, “They even lend us their field for parking. It’s really handy for Henley.”
Children ran on behalf of their schools, and ranged in age from school years 1 to 6. This was the first time that years 1 and 2 have been invited to join in. Gary Connery was tasked with giving the children a fun warm up before they headed to the start line. The race was no mean feat, particularly its steep hill just before the finish. “It is a challenging course; it’s not a doddle,” Eileen commented. However, their were smiles and cheers all round, and each child was presented with a medal upon crossing the line. In addition to the completion medals for all participants, Go Kids! sponsored team cups for the winning teams in each category and the overall individual winners.
The Swiss Farm Cafe was on site to provide refreshments for the hungry runners. Despite the dull weather, spirits were high amongst competitors and spectators alike. What a fantastic way to start the Henley Youth Festival!
Photos by Cheryl George and Amy Nicholas
The award winning teams and individuals were:
Year 1/2 Girls
Overall winner – Jemima Hepworth, Sacred Heart
School team Winners – 1st Shiplake, 2nd Nettlebed, 3rd Sacred Heart
YR 1/2 Boys
Overall winner – William Ely, Sonning Common
School team winners – 1st Shiplake, 2nd Valley Road, 3rd Nettlebed
YR 3/4 Girls
Overall winner – Evie Paton, Peppard
School team winners – 1st Sonning Common, 2nd Rupert House, 3rd Peppard
YR 3/4 Boys
Overall winner – William Tavinor, Valley Road
School team winners – 1st Valley Road, 2nd St Mary’s, 3rd Shiplake
YR 5/6 Girls
Overall winner – Charlotte Ashby, Nettlebed
School team winners – 1st Trinity, 2nd Sacred Heart, 3rd Rupert House
YR 5/6 Boys
Overall winner – Hal Rust D’Eye, Kidmore End
School team winners – 1st Kidmore End, 2nd Sacred Heart, 3rd Badgemore