Essex Business Runners out in force at hospice charity Race4Business event

Hundreds of runners joined together to take part in the 22nd annual Race4Business event to raise much needed funds for Essex based charity Havens Hospices.

After cancelling the event in 2020 due to the pandemic, the charity was thrilled to welcome nearly 300 runners from over 50 businesses to the 3.5 mile run in Chelmsford on Wednesday 15th September. In total the event has so far raised over an incredible £21,000 for the charity.

Race4Business has become a significant annual fixture in the business community calendar and raises money for the hospice charity which provides palliative and supportive care to all age groups living with complex or incurable conditions through its three hospice services: Little Havens, The J’s and Fair Havens. Havens Hospices took over the organisation of the event from law firm Birketts after its last event in 2019.

The race started in Chelmsford High Street and took teams of businesses through the city’s streets and Central Park. Havens Hospices Patron and Radio Essex Presenter Su Harrison welcomed runners at the start of the race before setting them off on their 5K route, which included The Only Way is Essex star Tom McDonnell – an avid supporter of the charity and who will taking part in the London Marathon next month in aid of Havens Hospices.

After participants finished their run, food, drink stalls and music was on offer to celebrate the occasion along with a special and moving speech from Havens Hospices Ambassador Dee Anderson. Dee has experienced the charity’s hospice care first-hand as her daughter Katie was cared for by the charity. Dee thanked runners, explaining the importance of the care the hospices provide. Following this, awards were handed to first, second and third place male and female runners, fastest team and the best fancy dress with help from special guests Tom McDonnell and Simon Webbe, singer from the boyband Blue.

The fastest male to cross the finish line was Paul Miles from Chelmsford College in 19 minutes and 5 seconds and the fastest female was Jackie Stretton from Teledyne e2v who ran the course in 21 minutes 15 seconds.

One of the companies taking part on the evening was Bluebird Care, Mid Essex. Sharon Wuyts along with her eight colleagues donned blue wigs for the occasion and won best fancy dress. Sharon said: “Competing in Race4Business with my fellow colleagues was a massive achievement, following the pandemic. Raising money and awareness for such a worthwhile, local charity gave us such a buzz. The atmosphere last night was amazing – so many local businesses taking part, different ages, some running and others walking, whatever their ability and speed. There were volunteers on every corner, spurring and encouraging us with happy faces. Not only did we raise money and awareness for Havens Hospices, but it was also a really good team building exercise and we all had fun dressing up representing Bluebird Care Mid Essex and would love to sign up again.”

Erika Patterson, Event Fundraiser at Havens Hospices said: “After 18 months of uncertainty during the pandemic it was amazing to welcome hundreds of runners from local businesses safely to our first Race4Business event. The enthusiasm from all the businesses was so infectious and the atmosphere was wonderful. Thank you to every single one of you for your participation and support. It’s thanks to businesses like yours that we can continue ‘Making every day count’ for every child, young person, adult and family we care for across our three hospice services, Little Havens, Fair Havens and The J’s.

“We would also like to pass on our heartful thanks and appreciation to all the volunteer marshals, our Patron Su Harrison for her usual entertaining commentary for our runners, Dee Anderson for speaking about her personal experience of the charity and our very special guests and supporters Simon Webbe and Tom McDonnell, for cheering on our runners across the finish line. And not forgetting our Race4Business 2021 sponsors Birketts, Gallagher, MHA MacIntyre Hudson, Willmott Dixon, Tangent International, Utilize Plc and MS Amlin and the kind donations of bottled water from Tesco Springfield and snack bars from Eat Natural. It’s thanks to your support the charity can continue providing its specialist hospice care free of charge.”

Businesses can now express their interest and register for next year’s event which will be taking place on 29th June 2022. For more information and to register visit

1st And 2nd Male Runner With Su Harrison And Dee AndersonJackie Stretton Accepted Her First Place Award From Tom McDonnell And Simon Webbe

Colleagues from Willmott Dixon at the start lineColleagues from Bluebird Care before the race

Published 16th September 2021

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