More than 2,700 fundraisers turned out for the frothiest 5K in the county on Sunday, for the Hospice of St Francis’ first-ever Bubble Rush event.
Clad in multi-coloured tutus, neon sunglasses and eye-catching costumes, participants flocked to Hemel’s Gadebridge Park for the sell-out event, which has so far raised at least £115,000 for the Berkhamsted charity.
Bubblers ran, walked or danced their way through bubble stations as they were blasted by cannons blowing out crazy-coloured bubbles, covering them in frothy foam.
Fran Martin, events manager at the hospice, said: “Our brilliant Bubblers have raised a phenomenal amount, which could pay for a bed for a whole year in our inpatient unit.
“I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part, to our loyal and committed marshals and volunteers, to our sponsors, Hillier Hopkins LLP, and everyone who contributed in any way.”
Joel Rowbotham, 29, from Sacombe Road, Hemel Hempstead, took part with nine burly mates all dressed as Superwoman, in memory of his fiancée, Hayley Makepeace, 29, who spent 12 days at the Hospice before losing her battle with cancer last December.
A dozen different teams, comprising more than 70 people between them, took part in Hayley’s memory.
“Hayley was a really bubbly and vibrant person, so it just made sense to do the Bubble Rush in her name to say thank you to the Hospice for the outstanding care they gave us all,” said mobile tyre fitter Joel.
“It’s exactly the kind of event that Hayley would have loved and with lots of kids in our respective families, it was something they could all get involved in too.
“The whole event was amazing - really great fun! Even though one of the team tore his calf playing football two weeks ago, he went round on crutches and we carried him some of the way – nothing was going to stop us!”
Melanie and Simon Belson, from The Copse, Hemel Hempstead, took part with their three children Leah, 13, Ashleigh, 12, and Aron 10, because it was something the whole family could do.
“5k is easy – it’s a great way to have fun with the kids and to raise money for charity,” said control systems engineer, Simon, 44.
The five-strong Boxmoor Bubbly Babes took part, in the words of team member Caroline Frampton, 49, “because we love fun, we love bubbles and we wanted to raise money for a good cause.”
So far the team has raised £1,180 for the Hospice and afterwards, very aptly, they retired to pop open a bottle of bubbly to celebrate!