St Andrews' Chariots of Fire Beach Race raises over £9000 for local charities

North East Fife charities have received over £9000 following the success of this year’s Chariots of Fire Beach Race on the West Sands in St Andrews.

By Kevin McRoberts
Friday, 5th August 2022, 12:29 pm

After a two-year absence due to the Covid pandemic, the popular race – recreating an iconic scene from the 1980s movie ‘Chariots of Fire’ – attracted hundreds of competitors to take part in a 5K run along the beach.

The event is also a major fundraiser, and £9198 has now been handed over to four organisations.

The main beneficiary was the RNLI, which received a donation of £5454 towards the construction costs of the new lifeboat station in Anstruther.

The Chariots of Fire Beach Race returned to the West Sands in St Andrews in June this year, with the field of around 600 runners helping the event to raise over £9000 for local charities.

Families First St Andrews and Home-Start East Fife both received £1622, and the Hamish Foundation has been awarded £500 for its beach wheelchair initiative at West Sands.

Race director Ben McLeod said: “We were delighted to return to West Sands back in June and thrilled to be able to donate such a significant sum to these deserving causes.

“We have supported Families First and Home-Start for a few years now, and it was lovely to be able to give something back to the beach wheelchair project to allow more people to share in the beauty of West Sands.

“Finally, to be able to contribute over £5,000 to the construction of the new RNLI lifeboat station in Anstruther means that the money will make a material difference to peoples’ lives in the local community.

Many children took part in the Chariots Beach Race one-mile fun run, enjoying the opportunity to race along the sand.

“None of this could have been achieved without the generous support of local businesses (St Andrews Brewing Company, Fisher and Donaldson, Jannettas Gelateria, Galbraith, West Port Print and Design) and organisations such as the Rotary.

“We are thrilled with what our runners have raised and cannot wait to return in 2023 - Sunday, June 4, is the date for your diaries!”

The RNLI is currently running a major fundraising campaign to build a new boathouse at Anstruther.

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The volunteers at the RNLI lifeboat station in Anstruther were delighted with the donation towards their £100,000 fundraising appeal to build a new boathouse.

Volunteers are looking forward to enhancing their service when a new Shannon lifeboat arrives on station in 2023. But it is too big for the existing boathouse, so a new base is urgently needed to enable the dedicated team to continue its lifesaving work.

Michael Bruce, Coxswain/Mechanic at Anstruther Lifeboat Station, said: “We are truly overwhelmed at the amount raised from the Chariots of Fire Beach race.

“This donation will make such a difference, steering us closer to our community appeal target of £100,000 and the reality of operating in a purpose-built Lifeboat station for our volunteers to continue saving lives at sea.

“Thank you so much from each and every one of us at Anstruther RNLI.”

A date for the diary: The next Chariots of Fire Beach Race in on Sunday, June 4, 2023.

Sarah Martin, from Families First St Andrews, was also grateful for the donation to the charity.

She said: “To have this support for such a small local charity makes all the difference to how we ensure we are able to continue supporting some of the most vulnerable children, young people and their families throughout north east Fife.

“Thank you to everyone involved and for choosing Families First as one of the recipients of this year’s fundraising.”

Joanne Roddam, manager of Home-Start East Fife, conveyed her thanks, and that of the trustees, staff, volunteers and supported families for the “extremely generous donation”.

She said: “As you may know, Home-Start East Fife fundraises to recruit and train volunteers to visit vulnerable families and support them in their own homes, as well as run Family Support Groups where parents and children can meet and be supported in a safe environment.

“This donation will be allocated where it is needed most and we will continue to support families with young children in the coming year.”

This year’s 5k race attracted a field of around 600 runners to the West Sands, while scores of children also took part in a one-mile fun run.

The winner of the 5K race was Simon Anetts, in 17 minutes and five seconds, with the first female runner, Rhona Van Rensburg, finishing in 20 minutes and 33 seconds.

For many, though, it was just about the fun of taking part, running along the sand to the sounds of the iconic Vangelis music from the 1980s movie Chariots of Fire.

Keep up to date with news of the Chariots of Fire Beach Race at the Facebook page.