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Byline: Tony Woolway

CARDIFF echoed to the sound of pounding feet as more than 24,000 runners, joggers, roller-skaters and strollers joined the Sports Aid Race Against Time yesterday.

Thousands more lined the six-mile route, their enthusiastic cheering offering yet more motivation if it was needed.

From all points - north, south, east and west - they came for the ultimate opportunity to vote with their feet for a better future for Africa's starving.

Event organisers were amazed at the response - the number of participants more than doubling their early expectations.

"It was such a wonderful feeling to see so many people from different walks of life running for the same aim - Sport Aid has brought all those people together," said one of them, Mr Paul Jenkins, Cardiff's senior recreation manager.

And the Cardiff competitors alone are expected to raise at least pounds 500,000 towards the Sports Aid Appeal.

The poignant background to the massive event was never lost, but it did not stop hundreds of runners making it a fun day. Alongside the masses of official "I Ran The World" T-shirted runners were panto cows and clowns, dogs and drag artists, cartoon characters and even the odd unicyclist.

Tiny tots in pushchairs were wheeled around the route side by side with elderly folk in wheelchairs.

Many roads in the city were full two hours before the start.

A single cannon shot on the stroke of 4pm sent wave after wave of runners on their way.

Among them were former world record-holding athlete David Bedford and actor Brian Blessed - complete with Long John Silver outfit.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 26, 2007
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