As always thank you for your wonderful support at this year's event which attracted a broad spectrum of representation from across the motorcycling fraternity. Well over 2200 people took part in the ride, which as you can imagine, brought a huge number of gifts which will be distributed by Barnardo's High Close School.
We continue to be immensely fortunate to have the connection with the school. It really is an exceptional facility and all the staff and pupils whole heartedly support this event and enable the donated gifts to be distributed far and wide, where most needed.
We would also like to extend our thanks to the local media and also the members of the community for cheering the event on with such enthusiasm! Thank you also for the community's patience with regards to the temporary road closures, we hope that the advanced sign posting is working well to assist with planning journeys. It takes a team of over 100 marshals, an additional road crew and paramedics to ensure that the event runs legally and safely - all are volunteers; our deepest thanks to them and everyone else that makes it all fit together.
Prior to next years run there will be additional information on this web site regarding expected road rules to be observed by all participants of the run and also some advice for spectators, to ensure the event continues to be a safe experience for everyone.
This year we welcomed BBC's Songs of Praise to the event, who will broadcast a feature in one of the pre Christmas shows coming up. (You may be pleased to know that the committee wasn't required to contribute a choral contribution, although it might have been worth a go!).
The close of the day however, was tinged with sadness, as one of our regular participants was taken ill at the end of the event and sadly did not recover, despite the dedicated efforts of run participants and event paramedics. We are all naturally, deeply saddened and extend our love and assurance of our prayers to Pete's family in these unexpected days of heartbreak and pain. Over the years many precious friendships have been formed through the Toy Run, moments like this make that more painful, but also bring to the fore the genuineness of the community we share.
Christmas is a time of joy and sharing, but it is also a story marked by struggle and pain. It is with that in mind we thank you for thinking of others in their struggle and we pray, this Christmas season will be one of comfort for those who need comfort and joy for those who are celebrating.
With thanks from us all on the organising committee.
Here's a personal note from Ben,
"I want to say a big thank you to all that turned up for the 2016 toy run. You have made a lot of children very happy all over the country. Once again we had an incredible turn out, with so many amazing people, bikes and outfits! It brought immense pride to see us all unite, showing that these children around us are not forgotten. Sadly this year, a committed member of our toy run family, Pete, was unable to ride home after being taken ill at the end of the event. I believe he is now in God's hands. Thank you all once again, see you all next year.
Thank God for Pete.
Thank God for bikers"
Thank God for bikers"
(Photos from various sources on the Reading Toy RunFacebook group)