Council chairman to join Market Harborough's Park Run

Cllr Barbara Johnson
Cllr Barbara Johnson

The chairman of Harborough District Council is gearing up to tackle the Park Run to support her charity of the year – and she’ll be wearing her chain of office.

Cllr Barbara Johnson will set out to complete the popular 5k event in Market Harborough’s Welland Park on Saturday (Sept 14) to boost the Spectrum organisation.

Brave Barbara said: “Spectrum is a fantastic local group which works so hard to support those with autism or on the autism spectrum - helping parents/carers in so many ways.

“I’ll be making a spectacle of myself to raise money - running the Park Run wearing my chain!

“It should be quite an occasion.

“I would just like a last push at getting donations via my justgiving page.”

Cllr Johnson, who said she’d been retired some time, said she used to run “half marathons many years ago”.

“But being a chairman together with all the other stuff I do leaves very little time for any training but I’ll do my best.

“I’m determined to run the whole course - which I’ve done a couple of times in the last year,” said the grandma-of-six.

“But there will be more pressure this time.”

Praising Spectrum, Barbara added: “Spectrum holds regular meetings in Market Harborough and is pro-active in providing many practical ways of supporting autism families locally.

“They want to expand the services they already provide.

“And given the generous sponsorship I have received I should be able to give their projects a much-needed financial boost.”

She’s taking special measures to hang on to her chain on the testing park route.

“It’s a privilege to wear the chain of office – and this event is no exception.

“But it could be a challenge keeping it in place.

“I am hoping to anchor it to my shirt with pins,” said Barbara.

“It could prove a bit of handicap, so I am not expecting a fast finish!

“I have done a little training – but chairman’s duties do not always fit well with training.

“As long as I manage to run all the way round and finish, I shall be happy.”

A Spectrum spokesperson said: “We are very grateful to have been chosen as the Chairman’s charity this year.

“We’d want to use the money to expand our services and reach even more local families who desperately need support.

“We would also like to widen the range of books and equipment in our library and increase activities for our autism families and carers.”

Anyone who would like to sponsor Barbara should visit her JustGiving page.