Surrey runners race for disabled people

30 June 2017

Chris Arthey and the runnersSurrey runners of all ages and abilities took on the epic Hydon Hobble last Friday, in aid of the Leonard Cheshire Disability run Hydon Hill care home and day centre in Godalming.

The annual event, now in its eighth year, attracted over 50 participants. The fastest runner was Elsa Palmer, aged 16. She completed the 2.7-mile main race in a lightning-fast 18 minutes 20 seconds. The youngest participants in the 1km youngsters’ run were Ronnie Hall and Katherine Spate, both aged just 6 years old, while Ken Gravestock, at 80 years old, was the oldest competitor.

The eager participants met at Hydon’s Ball (National Trust) car park before tackling the off-road course, passing Hambledon Church and running along a section of the Greensand Way.

The race was organised by local running enthusiast, Chris Arthey.

Chris is himself disabled, following a road accident in 2008 where both he and his wife had to have a leg amputated. He organised the Hobble this year after becoming the oldest amputee to complete the London Marathon with a prosthetic leg.

Chris said:

‘Through the accident, our rehabilitation and rebuilding our lives, [my wife and I] know first-hand the importance of encouragement and community.

‘Things can look pretty bleak, but being around people who believe in you and are pulling for you can give you hope for the future.’

Chris and his wife Denise are keen supporters of Leonard Cheshire’s Hydon Hill home and he says they both understand the importance of sport and exercise for disabled people.

Chris originally started the Hobble in 2004 as a casual activity where a small group of his friends and neighbours pioneered the scenic route along Surrey’s trails, and it has developed into a community event to raise money for Hydon Hill.

Chris said:

‘The Hydon Hobble is at heart a community event, and we'd like Hydon Hill and its residents to feel that we are their local community, we're on their side and raising funds for their local projects, and we can enjoy some fun together.’

Registration fees and donations on the day raised almost £1000, and all money raised from the Hobble will go towards activities for people who use Hydon Hill’s services, including inclusive sports activities.

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