Belfast Telegraph

Stars out for Sport Relief mile

Thousands of running enthusiasts have joined celebrities and sports personalities for the Sport Relief London Mile.

Conservative MP and former Strictly Come Dancing star Ann Widdecombe started the first wave of the charity run, which included Spice Girl Melanie Chisholm, model Nell McAndrew, EastEnders actors Matt Lapinskas and Tony Discipline and Olympic and Paralympic medallists Allyson Felix and Chris Holmes.

As she kicked off the event, which included runners dressed as elephants, tigers, polar bears and robots, Widdecombe said: "I would like to say good luck to all of you, especially those dressed as animals.

"It's a good thing I'm not down there or I would be coming in at about 3pm this afternoon."

McAndrew was the first to cross the finish line on the Mall in central London, saying it was her "competitive streak" that spurred her on.

She said: "As I'm training for the marathon at the moment I was wishing this was the last mile of the marathon and I felt this good.

"It's fantastic everyone is in fancy dress, it's such a lovely atmosphere and I think anything that gets so many people across the UK active is such a fantastic thing. They are helping to raise money at the same time, too.

"I've got to run home from here, I need to do a 24-mile run today so I've probably burnt myself out already!"

Chisholm, who ran three miles during the event and finished looking happy but out of breath, said: "The Spice Girls had a long history with Comic Relief and now we have Sport Relief and they do such amazing work.

"To make raising money for something so awful so much fun is great."

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