Peter Pan Fun Run

From Bournemouth Echo:

IT was like a scene from a pantomime casting when almost 300 Peter Pans descended on Bournemouth Pier in memory of a special man.

Dressed entirely in green, willing volunteers, big and small, turned out in a bid to beat the world record for the largest number of Peter Pans in one place.

The event on Sunday was to mark 10 years since the formation of the Steve Bernard Foundation, and poignantly, Steve's 29th birthday.

Steve was just 18 when he and three friends were killed in a car crash in 2005, shortly after starting a sports course at Chichester University.

The former Bournemouth School student and sports enthusiast was very popular and scores of events have been held in his memory.

His dad Tony Bernard explained it was the sixth big fundraising event they had organised around Steve's birthday.

"This year is special because it marks the 10th anniversary of the foundation so we decided we wanted to add a little twist to our annual fun run", he told the Daily Echo.

"We chose Peter Pan as the costume of choice because it was character Steve dressed up as for a fun night out just days before he died."

Hundreds took part in the event, from Bournemouth Pier to Boscombe pier and back, with organisers and participants made to wait for almost 30 minutes to see whether they had beaten the current record of 280 Peter Pans.

Just moments before the race started it was announced they had managed to beat the record by just one Pan - making the new number to beat 281.

World record attempts have strict rules and all those taking part had to wear a green tunic, brown or green leggings or tights, a brown belt, a pointed hat and should carry a toy sword.

In total more than 300 runners took part but only 281 were in the correct costume.

"I'm absolutely over the moon," said Tony.

"The turnout has been great and I can't believe how many people have shown up to support us."

The race also saw some youngsters from Victoria Education Centre take part.

Martin Cook from the Education Centre said: "The Steve Bernard Foundation has done a lot for us over the years so we thought it was only right to come out and show our support for them."

Over the past 10 years the foundation has raised an incredible £250,000 which goes to promoting sport in the area as well as various local charities.

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