Keynsham 10K up and running again to support Bristol charity Empire Fighting Chance

May 07 2018

A running club has teamed up with a Bristol youth charity to revive the popular Keynsham 10K five years after its demise.

The race was organised for 25 years by 1st Keynsham Scouts until 2013’s event was cancelled because of rising costs.

Members of Bitton Road Runners had talked about relaunching the race but it wasn’t until a meeting between chairman Chris Palmer and Jamie Sanigar, a co-founder of Bristol-based boxing charity Empire Fighting Chance and Saltford resident, that plans really got up and running.

Chris said: “It was such a popular race and it has been on our minds to revive it for a few years. I visited Jamie’s boxing gym and he told me about the charity’s inspiring story and what good work they do down there. He wanted ideas on how to get people to run races and collect sponsorship on behalf of the charity and I suggested reviving the 10K to raise funds.”

The race is now scheduled to take place on Sunday, October 7, at 10am, starting from Somerdale and following a route very similar to that of the previous 10K. Runners will leave Somerdale, go into the High Street, along Charlton Road to Chewton Keynsham and then back via the Memorial Park.

The race, which could include up to 800 runners, will be chip-timed and the course has already been measured out by an accredited official.

Bitton Road Runners has around 300 members and also organises the Sodbury Slog, the Hanham Horror and the Summer 5k Series along the Bristol to Bath cycle path and Chris said: “The club has a strong reputation and this will be a high quality race that we plan to make an annual event.”

All proceeds from the event will go to Empire Fighting Chance, which was set up 11 years ago to support youngsters aged from eight to 25 in fighting the impact of deprivation on their lives. The charity combines non-contact boxing with mentoring, education, therapy and careers advice to help youngsters facing a range of issues, including mental health problems, risk of exclusion from school and crime.

Jamie, whose wife Liz is a member of Bitton Road Runners, says Empire Fighting Chance now works with 500 young people a week and there are plans to evolve into a national charity.

He said: “We were looking for an event to raise awareness of what we do as well as funds. My wife and I have both run the Keynsham 10K a few times and it was a mainstay of the running calendar. Between the running club and the charity we have the skill set to build it back up to the good standard the previous organisers set.

“Through word of mouth over just a couple of weeks 120 people have already signed up. It was one of the original 10Ks locally and I think it’s important to bring it back for the community and we are hoping people and businesses in Keynsham get behind it.”

The organisers will be approaching local businesses to seek sponsorship in the coming weeks and registration for runners is now open at www.fullonsport.com/event/keynsham10k/profile

Anyone who would like to get involved in supporting the race can contact Chris Palmer by emailing keynsham10kracedirector@gmail.com

To find out more about Empire Fighting Chance, visit www.empirefightingchance.org