29 April 2019

Rick Baker, a Crouch End local for more than 40 years, ran the adult 10k for the first time in 2005 at the age of 59. Until then Rick had supported his friends at the finishing line. Now, not only has he run it every year ever since then but all three of his children have taken part in the event too, whether in the children’s fun runs or the 10k event, or both.

Daughter Ruby, now 33, ran in the children’s races several times with crowds of her friends from local Rokesly School. Jack, now 41, and his wife Rosie are running the 10k event for the second time in 2019. Also this year their two children, Sonny, aged six, and Coco, aged four, are running in the one-mile runs. Fun Runners have also been helped along by daughter Sophie, a sports massage therapist, who in the past offered free massage after the race, which was a big success and inspired other therapists to follow her lead. This year, Sophie’s son Louie is running for the first time at the age of three.

Rick, pictured below with Sonny, said, “I have watched the Fun Run grow year-on-year to the wonderful festival event it is today. In my first year I joined the run training programme lead by YMCA North London’s and London Heathside Athletics Club, where they made the mechanics of running great fun. Then in 2009, at the age of 63, I was watching the Awards Ceremony when suddenly my name was announced – I was winner of the Over 60s! I was flabbergasted. Since then, I have managed to win the over-70s twice. There are not many of us still running in our 70s, so I hope I can inspire others my age to join.”

“The Fun Run is always special because it is about running with people, not against them. It’s a great community event, and for such a large event it runs like clockwork! What’s more they are fundraising to help young people at a time when fewer resources are available. This is an important element for us, and each year we have made a donation to their work. My Grandson Sonny ran for the first time last year, with me alongside trying to keep up with his darting and weaving. That night, as he was going to bed, he said to his mum, “I’ll never forget this day”. So, as you can imagine, the Fun Run is always in the diary as soon as the date is announced. All the family, whether they are running or not, will get together for it, to cheer on the winners and the stragglers. It’s a pretty emotional event and this year, with three grandchildren running, it will be even more so.”

Francesca Johnson, Race Director says, “it’s lovely to hear from runners like Rick and his family who have such a long history of participation in the event. We are forever inspired by heart-warming stories like his about three generations of runners. Do join Rick and his family in raising vital funds for our work to support the local community. You can open a fundraising page or make a donation by going to https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/ymcafunruns2019