Starters Orders for Henley Youth Festival 2024 With Fun Run

On Saturday morning, the Borlase fields by Henley Rugby Club buzzed with energy as children from local primary schools participated in the Henley Youth Festival fun run. Hosted by Physiolistic, the event drew hundreds of young runners from Reception to Year 6.

The fun run, a highlight and the first event of HYF 2024, was open to all children living in Henley or attending school in the HYF catchment area. The course, tailored to different age groups, offered varying distances, challenging older participants while ensuring younger ones could still enjoy the experience.

Upon crossing the finish line, each runner received a well-deserved medal, presented by Mayor Kellie Hinton. The top three finishers in each category were also honoured with certificates, while the champions proudly took home trophies to commemorate their achievements.

For the third consecutive year, Valley Road Primary School clinched the title for the school with the most participants, earning them a £250 voucher for sports equipment.

In the year 1 and 2 girls’ race, 7-year-old Phoebe Souls from Nettlebed Primary School crossed the finish line first. She was closely followed by Alice O’Brien, 7, from Trinity School and Freya Haman, 7, from Kidmore End Primary School. Alice said, “It was exciting. The end bit, because it was a really big hill, it felt a bit like you were going to slip down it! I’m proud of myself.”

In the year 1 and 2 boys’ race, 7-year-old Finley Stowell of Trinity Primary School emerged victorious after a sprint finish. He said, “It was tough, but I kept going. I’m really proud. I run at school where we have a cross country thing at lunch, which I sometimes go to.”

Just inches behind Finley was Wilf Goodson, 7, from Kidmore End, followed by Seth Drummond, 6, from Valley Road. Seth said, “It was good. I like running down the hill because I go super fast! I feel amazing!”

The hilly course proved to be a notable challenge for many runners. Teddy Molnar, 9, from Rupert House School, winner of the Year 3 and 4 girls’ race, exclaimed, “It was hard and tough but it was really fun. Going up that hill felt really good, and coming down again felt amazing.”

9-year-old Eleanor Smith from Sacred Heart, who secured second place in the Year 3 and 4 girls’ category, said, “It was really hard but it was so fun. I loved competing with all my friends. The hill was hard but coming down and crossing the finish line was amazing.” Third place went to Olivia Greaves, 9, from Peppard School.

The fun run, initially launched in 2019 by Clint and Angela Botha of Physiolistic, has become a staple of the Henley Youth Festival calendar, encouraging young athletes to embrace the joy of running!



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