Spen Valley running group pays a unique Remembrance Sunday tribute

A group of runners from the Spen Valley paid their own unique tribute to the fallen on Remembrance Sunday.

Monday, 15th November 2021, 3:00 pm
The Go Be Runners held a fundraising run and walk on Remembrance Sunday

Members of Go Be Runners joined a parade in Birkenshaw and laid a wreath at the war memorial in East Bierley before running to other memorial parks in Heckmondwike, Cleckheaton and Batley.

All wearing specially-designed red T-shirts bearing the slogan Lest We Forget, the runners raised £260 for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

One of the organisers and a run leader, Chris Birkenshaw, said: “It was a fabulous turnout and we are so proud of all those who took part and of how much money we raised.

The Go Be Runners held a fundraising run and walk on Remembrance Sunday

“There was a great reaction from people we passed on the route and cars were sounding their horns and people were waving.

“Our group is very much about helping and supporting people with their mental health. Lots of people have been struggling and this was a great way to bring everyone together.”

Chris said he had seen various different events planned to mark Remembrance Day on social media and decided to organise something a little different – but only had two weeks to pull it together.

There were 27 runners on the day, along with 12 walkers.

The group joined the parade after the service at St Paul’s Church in Birkenshaw and marched to the memorial in East Bierley.

There they joined a two-minute silence and laid a wreath before the runners headed off to the memorial parks in Cleckheaton, Heckmondwike and Batley. The near 10-mile run ended in Batley around 1.30pm.

Chris, 42, of Gomersal, added: “We obviously weren’t in time for all the other services and parades but we did meet up with the Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater in Heckmondwike who was very supportive of what we were doing.

“We only came up with the idea a couple of weeks before and it’s been so successful we’ll certainly do it again next year when we’ll have a bit more time to plan it.”

Go Be Runners is in its third year and meets at various places in Spenborough on Monday and Wednesday evenings. The group is for people of all abilities and there is a walking group too.

For more information, search Go Be Runners on Facebook.