Youngsters take on Gosport’s golden mile in memory of five-year-old Joe Gower

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MORE than 100 kindhearted children put their running shoes and pirate gear on to complete a sponsored mile-long course for a good cause.

The event, which took place yesterday morning, saw youngsters aged up to 12 run from the Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service lifeboat station, in Lifeboat Lane along to Bayside Cafe, in Stokes Bay.

And they're off! The competitors start the charity run
Picture: Keith Woodland

And they're off! The competitors start the charity run Picture: Keith Woodland

The run was organised by Elise and Al Gower, from Gosport, in memory of their five-year-old son Joe who died in November 2013 from a brain tumour.

Elise said: ‘It is the anniversary of my son passing way from brain cancer, three years this year.

‘Just having made a connection with the Waterman family through our similar stories, and knowing that we can help other families, makes a really sad occasion into a really positive thing.’

All cash raised went towards the Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation – a charity set up by former Pompey player Dave and his wife Lorraine Waterman, in memory of their six-year-old son Oakley, who died in 2005 from a rare form of cancer.

Money raised will help the foundation offer respite breaks to other families with children affected by life-limiting conditions.

Dave, also from Gosport, said: ‘It was brilliant. There was a great turnout once again.

‘It has doubled in size this year. It’s the community coming together for a really special good cause.’

Al said: ‘It is amazing. So many people turned out for it.

‘It is only our second year doing it. Last year about 40 people came along. This year we saw 110, so we’ve more than doubled in size. It’s great to see.’

Jay, Joe’s twin brother, was taking part dressed as a sea monster.

Jay, eight, said: ‘It was fun – and a bit hot!’

A lot of children from Jay’s school – Alverstoke Junior School – took part.

Also running were siblings eight-year-old twins Sid and Stan Fancey, with their sister Molly, 12, all dressed as pirates.

Sid said: ‘It was really good.

‘In the middle I nearly tripped but I kept on going.

‘It was great!’

Sisters Rone, eight, and Tahlees, Waterman, nine, from Gosport, were also running in memory of their brother Oakley.

Tahlees said: ‘It was good fun, although I kept on stopping but it was great.’

The event raised more than £500.

To make a donation go to justgiving.com/oakleywatermancaravanfdn

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