Exercise and help good causes - Cllr John Holdich, Peterborough City Council leader

Great Eastern Run 2016  GER16.  Fun runners EMN-160910-181832009
Great Eastern Run 2016 GER16. Fun runners EMN-160910-181832009
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This Sunday the city will be packed with people hoping to achieve a personal best in this year’s Perkins Great Eastern Run.

This annual event is a highlight in the city’s calendar and one which attracts more and more people each year since its return in 2006.

Running has grown in popularity over recent years, partly thanks to the sporting achievements of Mo Farah and the rest of Team GB in the London and Rio Olympic Games.

However, I think it’s also down to the freedom it offers and its ability to fit easily into our modern lives.

Running (and walking, my personal favourite) are the few forms of exercise that can be done alone and in almost any environment. You don’t need any expensive equipment, you just put on your shoes and go.

The health benefits of regular exercise and getting out into the fresh air are undeniable and we all know we should be doing a lot more of it.

So with that in mind, I’ve got two messages for you ahead of this Sunday’s race event. Firstly, I’d like to wish everyone participating in the half marathon and the Anna’s Hope 5km Fun Run an enjoyable and successful day. And secondly, I’d like to invite everyone reading this column to make time this weekend for a 30 minutes walk or run. If you want to tie it in with watching the Perkins Great Eastern Run in action, the route is on www.perkinsgreateasternrun.co.uk However, one of the best locations to watch the runners pass is Cathedral Square.

If you’d like to dust off your running shoes, but need a bit of practice, the very first Santa Stroll will be happening in the city on Saturday, December 17. This 5km walk, run or jog is a chance for everyone in the city to get their festive fitness fix just before the big day itself. All while raising money for charity. Everyone taking part will be given Santa outfits, including a beard and belt. Entry is £15 for adults, £10 for youths (9 to 14), £7 for juniors (5 to 8) and £40 for families. £1 from each runner will be pledged to raise funds for the Mayor’s charities.

Entry forms are now available from Serpentine Green Shopping Centre and the Visitor Information Centre in the city centre.

Sticking with the health theme, we’ve just started October, which means the start of Public Health England’s annual Stoptober campaign.

As an ex-smoker of 51 years, I can tell you how much better I felt when I finally kicking the habit. In truth, it had been making me feel sluggish and unhealthy for years and my one regret is not doing it 20 years sooner.

It’s not too late to take part. For more help and information search for ‘Stoptober’ in a search engine or visit the Healthy Peterborough website http://www.healthypeterborough.org.uk

Last week, the name of the hotel on the new Fletton Quays site was revealed as The Hilton Garden Inn.

The Fletton Quays site is a vital regeneration site and will help to give visitors to our city a positive first impression.

By securing a loan for its development, we can accelerate its construction and gain from the interest earnt.

All councils, Peterborough included, have to be a lot smarter these days in generating additional revenue streams and this is one that will have a really positive impact on our city.

When I’m out and about I like to take the opportunity to visit different parts of the 
city.

Last week, whilst waiting for my wife who had an appointment at the hospital, I had a walk around the Hampton Court shopping area in Westwood.

I was really impressed with the way it had developed, as was a lady I saw shopping there who told me it had been transformed in recent years.

It reinforced to me just how important investment is in every corner of our city.