IN just two years, Bob Hulstrom has helped to raise £50,000 for Huntingdonshire’s charities. Now the man behind one of the district’s fastest-growing races has been honoured with a civic award.

As an independent financial adviser, Bob Hulstrom can normally be found in his office, wearing a suit and talking money matters with clients.

But around this time of year the 58-year-old swaps jacket and tie for more festive regalia as Huntingdon’s answer to Father Christmas.

And in the summer he is more often found in trainers and a high-visibility jacket as race director of the Huntingdon 10k.

Since it started three years ago the event has raised £50,000, of which £8,000 has been raised directly through entry fees.

Last week, Mr Hulstrom was awarded the Mayor’s Community Shield for the contribution he makes to improving life for local people.

“I am overjoyed and humbled,” he said, although it did not stop the father-of-one and soon to be grandfather trying to pass the shield to his wife, Jane.

He said: “Jane does all the course marking. The last two years, she set off two hours beforehand to run the course and check everything was in place. She then had a 40-minute break and ran the course again.”

Eleven years ago, Mr Hulstrom joined the Rotary Club of Hinchingbrooke. When it closed earlier this year, he helped to set up new fundraising club, Hullabaloo.

In 2008, Hinchingbrooke Rotary Club was casting around for fundraising ideas and Mr Hulstrom suggested a race after hearing about the success of Welsh fundraising event Race the Train.

“You regularly get 10,000 people running that. The concept was to get families to go and run together. One of our members, Dr Frankie Lasman, was talking about the number of obese cases.

“We decided to hold it on Father’s Day because we wanted something that would attract a lot of people and raise some money for the community.”

Next year’s race is being billed as the ‘Daddy’ of races. Property company Urban and Civic has donated a new race venue and it will be run at Alconbury Airfield for the first time.

The event will also feature a new 3k Fun Run open to anyone of any age or experience, and a community fair. Huntingdon-based BRJ Roadrunners’ club is also keen to be involved in next year’s event.

There will be 1,000 places in the multi-terrain race, which is open to anyone aged 16 or over.

Mr Hulstrom, a parish councillor in his home village of Great Stukeley, said: “This is a local race, organised by local volunteers to benefit local good causes.

“As well as the donation of all the profits from the race to local charities, runners can also raise personal sponsorship for the causes closest to their own hearts.”

For more information visit www.huntingdon10kcharityrun.co.uk. You can also follow the race director on Twitter @ RaceBobHunts10k.