Runners raise $30,000

MORE than 400 athletes — and a 1500-strong crowd — braved the morning chill for The Hills News Hills M2 Run on Sunday and raised $30,000.

The new annual charity run — which raises money for Reach for the Rainbow to change the lives of babies and pre-schoolers through early-intervention programs — attracted professional athletes and hobby runners who all came to run eight kilometres through historic Heritage Park.

"I'm ecstatic about the response we received," said the charity's founder and chairwoman of Run for the Hills, Yvonne Keane. "We've raised over $30,000 to benefit children with disabilities and delays and we've had overwhelmingly glowing feedback."

Sydney University's former world junior cross-country representative Hugh Williams was the fastest runner on the day, at 25.29 minutes, well within the 40-minute requirement for competitive runners.

"I'm more a hill runner and it's a hilly course so I thought I'd give it a nudge," said Williams, 20, who trains with Morgan McDonald — the first junior boy across the line on Sunday.

He got $1000 plus a $200 Mizuno gift certificate and trophy, as did the first female, while the first junior boy and girl got $500 and $200 Mizuno gift certificate and trophy.

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