200 Children Tackle Hilly Henley Youth Festival Run

Children of all ages braved the cold last Saturday morning for the annual Henley Youth Festival Run. The racing, hosted for the fourth year by Physiolistic, saw 200 school children from Reception to Year 8 lace up their trainers to sprint round the hilly course.

The event was held on the Borlase fields, by Henley Rugby Club, and invited all children who live in Henley, or attend school in the HYF catchment area, to take part. There were 8 races in total, with participants divided by age group and gender (with the exception of Reception and Year 7/8). The older the runner, the more challenging the distance, with races starting at 0.5km for Reception and extending to 2km for Year 7/8.

Every runner to finish was presented with a medal on the finish line. The top three in each category also received a certificate, with first place taking home a trophy for their efforts. For the second year running, Valley Road won the award for the most participants from a school, warning them a £250 voucher for sports equipment.

Hughie Moorcroft, 7, from the Oratory Prep School, finished first in the Year 1/2 Boys category after speeding around the 1km course. He said, “It was difficult because of the hill. I felt tired. I’m happy to win.”

Jemima Watson, 9, from Rupert House School, won the Year 3/4 Girls race of 1.4km for the second year in a row. Jemima, who does cross country at school, said, “Last time it was a lot harder because I was smaller, so the hill was much harder for my legs.”

There was another second victory in the Year 3/4 Boys category — Ambrose Paviour, 7, from Kidmore End Primary, also won in 2022. Ambrose said, “I run two or three times a week. Sometimes we do Parkrun, and sometimes cross country. [The race] was quite good. What I found difficult was going down the hill, because I thought I was going to fall over. I think I ran it a bit quicker this year.”

The Henley Youth Festival Run, like all HYF events, is made possible by the work of volunteers, and is organised by the team at Physiolistic. Clint Botha, one of the Directors of Physiolistic, said, “Thanks to all the parents who braved the chilly weather to cheer on their kids and the army of volunteers and sponsors who gave so freely of their time to make the event a success. Special thanks to the Physiolistic team for giving up their Saturday morning to help at the run, HYF committee members, Hugo from HOT Moves for sponsoring the cash prize, Tim Harris for doing the pre-race warm ups for the kids, the Mayor of Henley, Michelle Thomas, and the Borlase Family for allowing us to use the fields adjacent to the Henley Rugby Club.

“The committee are always looking for more volunteers so if anyone would like to help at next year’s run or at any of the numerous events put on by the Henley Youth Festival I would strongly encourage them to do so by contacting the Henley Youth Festival through its website.”

The winners from each category are listed below:


1st – Anya Barcella
2nd – Ruaidhri Mac Colgain

Year 1/2 Boys

1st – Hughie Moorcroft
2nd – Milo Wilkinson
3rd – Joseph Conway

Year 1/2 Girls

1st – Grace Hollins
2nd – Phoebe Soles
3rd – Sophie Longden

Year 3/4 Boys

1st – Ambrose Paviour
2nd – Max Mortimer
3rd – Frank O’Brien

Year 3/4 Girls

1st – Jemima Watson
2nd – Eloise Wouters
3rd – Ruby Jones

Year 5/6 Boys

1st – Irving Paviour
2nd – Ernie Sterjo
3rd – Maksym Shestachenko

Year 5/6 Girls

1st – Zara Tate
2nd – Emily Palmer
3rd – Martha Barron

Year 7/8

1st – Alexander Lamacraft
2nd – Alfred Cary
3rd – Andrew James

Schools Participation

1st – Valley Road
2nd – Trinity
3rd – Badgemore


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