There was a heart-warming finish by five-year old Elsie Novell and her father Chris at the Mansfield 10K & 5K (Sunday 15 September). They and the rest of Team Elsie were amongst a large turnout of runners at this compact event.
The Mansfield 10K & 5K was organised by Perfect Motion on behalf of Reach UK, a charity that supports people with learning disabilities to fulfil their potential. Entrants ran for this charity or another of their choosing.
Taking part was Team Elsie, a group set up by Chris and Charlotte Novell and other members of their family who fundraise for Elsie Novell with the goal of improving her quality of life. Elsie has a rare and incurable condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 2 which prevents her from standing and walking without help and/or a wheelchair and also affects her respiratory health. This bubbly five year old has a ‘can do’ attitude and doesn’t let her condition stop her from participating in activities.
The team included people who had never run 10K or 5K or hadn’t laced up a pair of trainers since leaving school. They set off with the rest of the field at 9am (10K) or 10.30am (5K) from the Market Square along a winding, traffic-free course around the streets of Mansfield, flanked by crowds who applauded the runners as they went by.
Kristian Watson of Heanor RC sprinted across the line in the Market Square to win in 32:34. Natalie Yates of Mansfield Harriers & AC was the female winner in 37:44.
Chris Novell pushed Elsie around in a specially adapted wheelchair before stopping to help her walk across the finish line. They finished in 53:14. Team Elsie raised £2,100 from the Mansfield 10K & 5K.
Image courtesy of Lynsey Wells (Team Elsie).