Banana drama at Hyde Park

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Annual ’Beat the Banana’ charity fundraiser sees importer and distributor BanaBay take a hands-on role

early 500 fun runners chased a man-sized banana around Hyde Park in order to triumph in the 5k challenge ‘Beat the Banana.’

The annual event in West London’s world-famous park, and which uses a human fruit as a race pacemaker, is organised by World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF UK) to highlight the importance of healthy eating and active lifestyles in the prevention of cancer.

BanaBay, as official banana supplier to WCRF UK, provided bananas for the runners to give them a slow release energy boost during the event, which took place on 15 May.

To show its commitment to the cause, BanaBay’s marketing and events manager, Anna Viralainen, also took part in the run.

She said: “Supporting this event held enormous appeal for BanaBay as it is a fun way to put across the serious message about eating well to reduce the risk of cancer.

”As well as being important to include in a diet containing plenty of fruit and vegetables, bananas are a popular choice for sportspeople to increase energy levels. I hope that our bananas helped the race participants get around the course.”

BanaBay’s involvement also provided a vital boost to funds, according to Michael Smeaton, deputy head of fundraising, WCRF UK.

He said: ’We are delighted to have the support of BanaBay; not just for our biannual Beat the Banana races, but for our events and activities throughout the year. Their passionate support for World Cancer Research Fund UK and our mission to reduce the prevalence of cancer has been incredible.

”We hope, with their support, we will be able to raise nearly £50,000 over the summer races to help us stop cancer before it starts, through scientific research and increasing awareness in society.”