Heavy overnight rain on 15 March forced the postponement of the Mad March Hare runs, power walks and family fun run the next day in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
Over 350 participants had signed up to take part and all will have been told that it will now take place on 30 March. So have the 60 volunteer marshalls to mark out and supervise the course.
Although volunteers from the Swindon branch of Breakthrough Breast Cancer had set out the course from Greendown School in Grange Park through Lydiard Park in dry weather, spirits were dampened when they turned up early on 16 March to make final preparations to find a bridge and footpath in the park under water. Rather than turn the event into a version of TVs Commando, the volunteers had to turn people away and set out about reorganising the event. (Above, Breakthrough members frustrated their best laid plans have had to be reorganised)
Breakthrough branch chairwoman Shirley Garman said volunteer spirits had bounced back. “We were all down when we were faced by the decision; it was the first time we’d organised such a major event and had been planning the Mad March Hare for about a year. But the conditions did not give us an options, the helpers and all the participants understood why we had to postpone the event. In fact some people were quite pleased and it definitely wasn’t fair on the families who were going to do the fun run.”
Keen runner Arthur Beltrami, 73, ran from his home in The Prinnells sporting his number to meet up with seven members of his family who were also taking part. “They were all coming up from Trowbridge, but the organisers have to err on the side of safety. We’ll all turn up on 30 March.”
“One moment I was in tears and then laughing when I arrived at Greendown in the rain,” said committee member Eunice Salmon. “Everybody had worked so hard over the last year, but you can’t do much about floods and we were unlucky to be hit; at least we have a fall back date in March.”
“After all that preparation, let’s say we had a good dry run,” said committee member Margaret Nicholson.
The Mad March Hare has been organised in memory of Irene Hare, a stalwart of the Swindon Twin Peaks marathon walking team who died of breast cancer in 2006. It is sponsored and supported by Swindon Link magazine, Les Slinn Fitness, the Big Adventure Store, Doves Farm Organics, Greendown Community School, Triumph International, Swindon Council and the national lottery.
• Although all the places are booked, turn up and support the runners and walkers in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer at Lydiard Park on Sunday 30 March. Runs, walks and family fun runs start at 10am.
Don't forget to re-set your clocks as they change that night.