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The tenth annual HAWKESBURY UPTON 5K RUN (HU5k) leaves the starting blocks at 11am on Saturday 18 June. Its an impressive milestone for the volunteer-run event in the small South Gloucestershire village, which has raised over £24.5k in total for the local school – the organisers would love to get near the £30k mark in this tenth outing.

HU5k has been run by local parents, school staff and the village community every year since 2012, and has become extremely popular with all ages and abilities from the surrounding area. Whether youre walking in fancy dress, or challenging for a PB, the event is known for its friendly atmosphere and attractive course, which visits sections of the beautiful Cotswold Way. The route starts and finishes at the centre of the village of Hawkesbury Upton, where runners and spectators also enjoy a BBQ, bake stalls, music, winners presentations, last year thanks to headline sponsors Williams Automobiles a display of classic sports cars, and hopefully this year – in honour of the anniversary – extra family fun!

HU5k was co-founded in 2012 by Debbie Young, who recalls: “When my daughter started at Hawkesbury Primary School, I joined the PTA, and we were always looking for new ideas for fundraising. I’d run a few 5ks and 10ks and I knew what a great unifier they could be for people of all ages and sporting abilities. I am thrilled and proud that what I helped found 10 years ago continues to go from strength to strength.”

Over the following years, five Race Directors have picked up the mantle, backed up by a crew of willing, skilled, enthusiastic and dedicated volunteer organisers. This has built it into a much-anticipated annual event that attracts up to 300 runners each year, and is supported by an army of volunteer marshalls from the community.

In recent years the races much-loved mascot, ‘HU5ky Bear has been a highlight, especially for the children. The bear was the brainchild of one of the most tenacious Race Directors, Caroline Pederick. Caroline was also responsible for keeping HU5k momentum going through the covid pandemic with a clever and well-subscribed virtual ‘race an autumn ‘Pumpkin Trail around the usual course for people to complete in their own time.

Jennie Young, another past HU5k Race Director, sums up the excitement felt by local children about this great village tradition. “The tenth HU5k falls on my daughters 8th birthday, and all she wants to do to celebrate is take part in the race with her mates and then go to the cake stall!” Jennie remembers directing the event one year with that same daughter in a carrier on her back for most of the day.

To mark the milestone, current Race Directors John & Amanda Conway and their team are planning an extra special event for all the family and dipping into a decade of village memories to share on their social channels (@HU5kRun).

The team is grateful for generous sponsorship this year from various local businesses including Williams Automobiles Ltd of Chipping Sodbury, Sodbury Fuels, Simply Gardens, Country Property, The Fox Inn and The Parlour Pool.

Pre-registration is strongly advised due to the ever-increasing popularity of this event.

HU5k takes place 11am, Saturday 18 June, from Hawkesbury Upton Village Hall GL9 1AT.

Full details, course info and entry registrations at www.hu5k.org.