Thousands of Arsenal fans and keen runners from all across the globe came together on Saturday to take part in the annual 'Be a Gunner. Be a Runner' charity fun run, in aid of The Arsenal Foundation.
The popular fundraiser saw around 400 runners of all ages descend on Emirates Stadium for the flagship event around the Gunners’ home, while many more took part in their own independently organised simultaneous runs around the world.
In north London, the children’s race was the first to get underway with a large field of Junior Gunners, cheered on by Gunnersaurus, completing either one or two laps of Emirates Stadium. The first boy past the post in the one-lap race was James Smeaton (aged six), who was closely followed by Emily Morley (five), the first girl past the finishing line. George Leffman (14) took the trophy in the two-lap race, while Elodie Soteriou (aged 10) was the first girl across the line.
The adults were next to get under starter's orders, with many donning fancy dress as part of this year’s ‘Superheroes’ theme. A 16-year old Purple Member, Jacob Hine, was the first male to complete the 6.4km route, crossing the finishing line in 26mins 15secs. In the women’s race, Elizabeth Grant was the fastest female, completing the run in approximately 32 minutes.
Before the UK had even woken up, many Gooners around the world were taking part in their own events overseas as 'Be a Gunner. Be a Runner' spread to the international stage.
Supporters’ groups and runners from 30 countries, including Bangladesh, Belarus, Hungary, India, Poland, Singapore and the USA all took part over the course of the weekend to raise awareness and fundraise for The Arsenal Foundation. In China alone, more than 2,000 runners took part across 26 different cities.
All funds raised from this event will support The Arsenal Foundation, which aims to transform the lives of young people in the UK and overseas through a range of education and sport initiatives, including those of the club’s global charity partner, Save the Children.
The final fundraising total for the event will be announced in the coming weeks.7 Apr 2014