ENCHANTING seven year old Kaleigh Lau was the star of the show at the first ever Team Kaleigh 10k Challenge in Redbridge. The community event, supported by the iconic Sikhs in the City Running Club, was organised to raise additional funds for Kaleigh’s future medical treatments and assist her fight against a rare and incurable brain tumour known as DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma).
A whole host of friends, family and complete strangers united to run a challenging 10k on a blustery winter day and play their part in increasing awareness of this terrible illness which primarily affects young children. The Team Kaleigh 10k Challenge comprised five laps of an open road course (2.014km per lap) in an anti-clockwise direction and is named after marathon legend Fauja Singh.
Celebrated local runners included Jog on Hijabi Lynne Northcott, who is preparing for the London Marathon while raising money for a Gambia water project for Penny Appeal; Timi Veerasamy from Dagenham 88; and prolific long distance running legend Harmander Singh. The most uplifting moment of the race saw brave Kaleigh take part and complete the course in her wheelchair.
The chief guest – Mayor of Redbridge Councillor Linda Huggett – gave a rousing speech before starting the race and was on hand to present medals to every runner. She said, “It’s amazing to see everyone here today and I congratulate every runner for their dedication and human spirit.” Councillor Huggett also invited runners and our readers to take part in her Redbridge Festive Runs on 3rd December.
Race organiser Jason Li worked tirelessly to ensure a tremendously smooth event. He said, “I’m just relieved the event ran like clockwork. The weather was cold but the sun was out. We had no rain and even little Kaleigh participated. Everyone looks so happy and there is a great spirit of togetherness – it’s been perfect.”
Kaleigh’s father Scott Lau thanked everyone for their support. “We are very blessed to have so many people come out and support Kaleigh and her determination has spurred us on even more. It’s just been an amazing day,” he said. “We will do whatever it takes to make life easier for Kaleigh and it’s just fantastic that we have so many unbelievable people joining us on this journey.
“I’m really proud of everybody and immensely inspired by my own daughter. This illness hasn’t got a cure at the moment and we want to make a change as Team Kaleigh. It’s been emotional and we are full of pride. Thank you, everyone.”
The Team Kaleigh 10k Challenge route was run on Roding Lane South, Woodford Bridge Road and Woodford Avenue with several friendly volunteer marshalls supervising road crossings.
•To donate, read the event updates or to find out more about Kaleigh’s story and her new UK petition, go to:
•Mayor of Redbridge Festive Runs (10k and 2k)
Sunday, 3rd December 2017
•Sunday, 17th December 2017
SITC Dawn to Dusk Sunlight Ultra (10k, Half, Full and Ultra Marathons)