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Carter and friends before the Ironkids race

Carter leads the way as hundreds of children run in the sun at Ironkids Staffordshire

Hundreds of children raced through the grounds of Shugborough Hall in today’s sunshine as part of the third Ironkids Staffordshire event.

On the day before the main IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire event, a series of races saw children between the ages of three and 14 cover distances from 500 metres to 2.5km. The fun started at 3pm.

Competitors included five-year-old Carter Chatting from Lichfield. Carter is undergoing treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Today he was joined by a team of 50 friends and family taking part in Ironkids – all raising money for the oncology unit at the hospital. It’s the second Ironkids for Carter and his friends. Last year they raised £4,500, with Carter completing the course on his dad Matthew’s shoulders. This year, Carter had hoped to complete some of the course – but instead ran the whole way.

Lucy Chatting, Carter’s mum, said:

Today’s event has been fantastic. We’ve had a great turnout and with the best weather. A year ago Carter was on his dad’s shoulders around the course. This year he ran the whole way, which I wasn’t expecting. It has been an emotional afternoon.”

Anyone wanting to donate to Carter the Brave should visit http://www.justgiving.com/carterthebrave

Staffordshire County Council’s Mark Winnington said:

It’s been great to see Staffordshire host its third Ironkids event, with so many young people racing through the grounds of Shugborough. They’ll all have had a memorable time completing their run at the main IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire finish. Carter’s participation for the second year running is truly inspirational and I know him and all of his friends and family would have had a wonderful day. Once again, Ironkids has enabled us to showcase Staffordshire and encourage children of all ages and abilities to get involved in sport in a fun environment.”

Lisa Dent, IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire Race Director, said:

We always talk about the inspirational IRONMAN athletes and what they achieve. What Carter has achieved goes beyond what most of us can comprehend. He is truly an inspiration and embodies the spirit of IRONMAN, never giving up and showing us that anything is possible. Ironkids is all about fun and participation and we encourage parents to enter their kids and let them enjoy being part of the festivities.”

The IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire Expo saw hundreds of athletes registering for tomorrow’s event, which starts at 7am with the swim at Chasewater.