Put on your running shoes and help raise cash for The Rowans

STARTING GUN From left, Amanda Mahoney, Sophie Gunner, Nathan Staley, Ruth White, Tiffany Eneas, her daughter Hannah Eneas, Karen Murphy and Morna Clarke-Hughes with Roger Gunner as Rowan the Meerkat. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (1457-1)

STARTING GUN From left, Amanda Mahoney, Sophie Gunner, Nathan Staley, Ruth White, Tiffany Eneas, her daughter Hannah Eneas, Karen Murphy and Morna Clarke-Hughes with Roger Gunner as Rowan the Meerkat. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (1457-1)

The hustings at Portsmouth College - from left:  David Carpenter (college governor), Gerald Vernon-Jackson (Lib Dems), Ian McCulloch (Green), Steve Fitzgerald (college teacher and chair), Stephen Morgan (Labour), Kevan Chippindall-Higgin (Ukip) and Penny Mordaunt (Cons)   Picture: Heather Eggelton

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IT’S been 20 years since The Rowans Hospice opened and to celebrate the charity is organising a fun run.

The hospice in Purbrook has launched the first of its events for 2014 called Race with Rowan.

It is a sponsored run for all ages and abilities and takes place on Saturday, March 1, starting and finishing at Portsmouth Watersports Centre, supported by City of Portsmouth Athletics Club.

There will be a 5km fun run and a 10km road and trail race.

Amanda Mahoney is the PR officer for The Rowans.

She said: ‘It’s our first running race.

‘We decided to have it as it’s our 20th anniversary this year.

‘We thought we’d launch it in the new year because people are looking to get fit after Christmas.

‘It gives them time to train for the event.’

And Amanda said she is hoping it will help raise the profile of the charity.

‘We were looking for a mass-participation event and it’s something everyone could get involved in,’ she said.

‘It’s a manageable distance and it will be fun.

‘We ask that people raise sponsorship and get involved and get fit as well.

‘We’re hoping to raise about £25,000 for the event which will help fund our services.’

Amanda said it’s a good way to celebrate a special year for The Rowans.

‘We’ve been looking back over the last 20 years at how we have grown and now we are looking forward to the next 20 years and how we will grow and develop. There’s a need which is going to grow.

‘We are looking at end-of-life care and planning for the future.

‘Care is going to become more and more vital.

‘People come into contact with the hospice and they want to raise money for us. So it’s about reaching out to new audiences as well.

‘Having new events will help reach new people and hopefully more people will raise money for us.’

All runners will receive a medal with prizes for the first to cross the finishing line.

The fun character ‘Rowan the Meerkat’ helps to represent Rowan’s Meerkat Service, part of The Rowans Hospice organisation.

Online registration for Race with Rowan is now open. Please visit rowanshospice.co.uk or call Fundraising on (023) 9223 7142 for a registration form.

For information about training, contact Tiffany Eneas at tiffany@msefitness.net or visit msefitness.net.

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