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First Run2Remember takes place at Lydiard Park
Buy this photo » Children from Shaw Ridge Primary at the start of the 1km event
HUNDREDS of runners of all ages took to Lydiard Park on Saturday to take part in two races for the fallen and injured, organised by the Royal British Legion.
Aron Shelton, who lost a leg in Afghanistan, gave the signal to get Run2Remember under way and was on hand at the finish handing out water.
More than 600 runners took part, with 500 tackling an 11k route around the park and the remainder entering a 1.1k fun run.
A two-minute silence provided a moment of reflection before the event started.
Aaron, who was hurt in an explosion in 2007, said: “It’s been a cracking day. It makes you proud to see the amount of support for the armed services.
“There have been people from all walks of life and all ages, from little two-year-olds to the older generation. It’s absolutely marvellous to see.”
The 28-year-old former private, from East Yorkshire, was supported by the Legion when his disability benefit was withdrawn in 2009 despite his injuries.
He said: “The Legion supported me when the Department for Work and Pensions decided I was no longer disabled despite having lost my left leg and damaged my right.
“The decision was taken to tribunal and we won. I will do anything I can to promote the Legion’s work.”
Barbara Thomas, who used to work as a groom to the family of the late Col Sam Gaussen of the Welsh Guards, ran the 11k with her Parsons Jack Russell Patch.
The PE teacher, 56, from near Cirencester, said: “The Welsh Guards lost a lot of men in the Falkands when two ships were bombed. I took part for Col Gaussen, who died last year, and for all of the fallen.
“We are very grateful for all of our forces and all that they do. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice and there is no more you can ask than that.”
Caroline Rawlins, 38, from Dorset, completed the 11k along with fellow members of the Military Wives Choir, who raised more than £1,000.
She said: “This was the perfect opportunity to come together and to remember the fallen people we knew and also those who have come back with injuries.”
The day marked the first year of Run2Remember.
Race organiser Leah Harris said: “We held the event to appeal to different audiences and find a different way to respect and remember. We have had an amazing turnout and a really good atmosphere, with £60,000 which will go to all of our welfare projects.”