Jericho runners will help fund primary and facility for African town

thisisoxfordshire: TRAINING: Stefano Blin with his daughters Eva, nine, left, and Katia, seven Buy this photo TRAINING: Stefano Blin with his daughters Eva, nine, left, and Katia, seven

SIX hundred people are expected to take part in a 10k run to raise funds for a Jericho primary school and a library project in Africa.

Run Jericho takes place on Sunday, June 16, and will bring in cash for St Barnabas Primary School in Hart Street, and the library it supports in Bekoji in Ethiopia.

Among those taking part are sports public relations consultant Stefano Blin, 47, and his daughters Eva, nine, and Katia, seven, who attend a running club at the school.

Mr Blin said there are 400 places for the adult 10k run and 200 for the children’s one-mile fun run.

He added: “The 10k run is a multi-terrain race following a beautiful route through Jericho, the sports grounds of Worcester College, around Port Meadow and along the Oxford Canal.

“Before the 10k, there is the kids’ run through Jericho and Worcester College sports ground on fully closed roads.”

Mr Blin added that Run Jericho, now in its third year, has helped to fund the library in Bekoji.

He said: “The library opened last month and some of the funds from this year’s run will help fund a part-time librarian and a broadband connection.

“The highland town of Bekoji is known as the ‘Town of Runners’ because it has produced some of the world’s greatest distance runners.”

Mr Blin said the event raised about £6,000 last year.

“Money from registration will go to St Barnabas Primary School Parent Teachers’ Association, a registered charity.

“Additional money raised through sponsorship will go towards the library project,” he added.

Bekoji is a small farming town in the Ethiopian Highlands, with a population of about 20,000 people.

A few hours south of the capital Addis Ababa, it has been the training ground for some world-beating long-distance runners, including Olympic gold medal winners Tirunesh Dibaba, left, and Kenenisa Bekele.

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Coaches say runners in the town benefit from a mix of thin air, a lean diet and different terrains.

The adult race costs £15 to enter and the children’s event £3.

To register and for further information you can visit runjericho.com

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