Forget the London Olympics – Huntingdonshire will be hosting its own special sporting event next year and we want YOU get involved. MARK SHIELDS explains all.

YOU can help one of St Neots' sporting institutions mark an important milestone - by being part of the Riverside Runners Charity 10k.

In preparation for the club's 25th birthday in 2012, The Hunts Post has joined forces with Riverside Runners to help raise vital funds for the New Life Appeal.

"We wanted something to celebrate the anniversary," said Liz Hiner, who is helping to organise the race.

"We want this to be a real community event where lots of local people enter - people who aren't necessarily members of a running club already."

Mrs Hiner said the race on August 19 had been designed to be a challenge for runners of all abilities, with 10k and 3k fun run options.

"It's an off-road and multi-terrain course, and although it's not a slow course, it's probably not a personal best course for athletes," she said.

The route starts in Riverside Park and stays close to the river as it progresses through Eaton Socon and Eynesbury before working north again to the finish in Riverside Park.

With 600 places available, the club hopes to encourage newcomers to the sport, as well as those who want to make some money for charity.

"Some people think 'I'd never be able to do that' but this is not just for serious runners," said Mrs Hiner.

"A 10k is a distance that takes some work but it can be done by lots of people."

To support beginners, the club has devised training plans to make sure you are in top condition - and there's plenty of time before the starter's gun next summer.

"It doesn't matter if you don't feel you can run it all - you can run, jog or walk it, or there is the 3k fun run if you don't want to take on the full 10k."

You can also play your part by supporting and sponsoring the runners, or donating prizes to be distributed at the end.

Mrs Hiner said: "We need volunteers to help with marshalling, man the water stations and be at the finish to hand out goodie bags."

Other events are being planned to mark the club's quarter-century, including a black-tie evening and a club camping trip.

INFORMATION: To find out more about Riverside Runners, visit www.riverside-runners.co.uk - registration for the race is open on the Runner's World website at www.runnersworld.co.uk/events