With the help of a local group of enthusiasts, Woking Lions held its 6th annual summer race at McLaren Park and across Horsell Common on Sunday 25th June. The event, organised entirely by volunteers, sold out 3 weeks before race day with 700 runners ranging from 4 years old to the oldest at 80. Race. Distances were 5, 10 and 21 kilometres and, for the first time this year, a 2 kilometre kid’s’ run which was entered by 70 children.

Morning temperatures exceeded 30 degrees but that didn’t deter the runners taking on the challenge of trail running through the historic sandpits on Horsell Common - the site where the Martians first landed in H.G. Wells’s novel The War of the Worlds. Runners finished downhill into McLaren Park to receive their Martian Medals sponsored by Trident Honda, Ottershaw.

Race Director Gavin Jackman of Horsell Runners said “There are always too many people to thank, our sponsors, our 70 + volunteers, and the runners themselves! We aim to balance three objectives - make it a great run for runners, a great success for charities and bring together the community. The Martian Run Committee has worked so hard over the past 7 months trying to balance that but the smiles on the day were one of the biggest rewards we got! This year we had the added bonus that the Bee-lieve Foundation chose the run as part of their 10 for 10,000 Challenge organising in the region of 80 runners to raise money for mental health in children.”

Outgoing Woking Lions President, Paul Robinson added “Other local charities who will benefit from the final proceeds include Woking & Sam Beare Hospice, Woking Community Transport , White Lodge School for children with special needs, Horsell Scouts and Guides plus District Scouts who helped with tents and assisted on the day. Transform Housing & Support who support local and vulnerable homeless people were also included”

Incoming President and Treasurer, Reginald Fianu explained: “ Since we started the Martian Run in 2016, all proceeds have been distributed locally which means many other local groups or charities have benefitted from the net income raised during the pandemic and lockdown when we kept the event going through a ‘virtual run’ which was more challenging than the previous ones. To have the additional help of ”Horsell Runners” this year has been of great help in raising this year’s record amount of both runners and funds for distribution.”