Margaret and her team tell us about one of Swindon’s favourite and most popular events, the Mad March Hare. The event raises money in aid of Breast Cancer Now and celebrated its 10 year anniversary earlier this year.
10 years of fundraising
We are so proud to be one of Swindon’s most popular events and on 26 March we held our 10 year anniversary event. We pride ourselves on offering a totally inclusive event and avoid referring to Mad March Hare as just a race. There's no official timing, everyone is there for the joy of being part of the event; feeling good and raising funds for Breast Cancer Now’s life-saving research.
We attract elite runners, fun runners, buggy runners, power-walkers, pram pushers and dog walkers. While not mandatory, fancy dress is encouraged and we're always pleased to see super heroes and cartoon characters on the day. One year we even had a friendly rhino who was in training for the London Marathon!
The first day of British Summer Time brought bright sunshine with people coming from across the town and beyond to the start point in Lydiard Park Academy, our generous hosts since our very first event.
Our 5km and 10km routes both pass through the pretty Lydiard Park with the 10km also following some old hedgerows that in March are beginning to burst into colour and the entrants are serenaded by many songbirds along the route.
Everyone who completes the event receives a bespoke medal and a goody bag – even the dogs receive goody bags sponsored by a local veterinary practice!
Reaching our target
With 100% of the entry fees going directly to Breast Cancer Now, we were hopeful that by the time sponsorship had been added we would top a cumulative ten-year total of £100,000… and we did it! The final total will be announced shortly.
The success of our event depends on the many volunteers involved. We are a team of 10 who do the organising and then have around 50-70 volunteers on the day; we are so grateful to each of them.
We fundraise throughout the year to cover the costs of running the event so we can honestly say 100% of the entry fees go to Breast Cancer Now. We hold cake sales, a quiz night and curry night, and sell Mad March Hare merchandise. We also have the sponsorship of some local businesses who help cover the cost of First Aid, event numbers, banners, radio and PA hire. Without these efforts, the running costs would eat a long way into the money we raise from entry fees.
We have lots of great stories from people who take part. This year we had a lady just 24 hours after having a pacemaker fitted who walked the 5km route. We have also had cancer survivors entering and many who take part in memory of family and friends who are no longer with us.
To find out more about the event and view a gallery of this year's photographs, please visit our website. If you're thinking of doing an event like ours please get in touch, we're keen to share our experience and I'm pleased to say we have already been approached by a local community group who saw what we have done and have been inspired to run their own event in June.
If you've been inspired to organise your own fundraising event, we'd love to hear from you! Get in touch using our online form and let us know what you have planned.