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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 June, 2004, 16:54 GMT 17:54 UK
MPs run a mile for charity
Richard Caborn
Sports minister Richard Caborn finished two minutes after the winner
St James Park in London saw a very different first past the post challenge on Wednesday afternoon, as MPs and Peers took part in the first ever Westminster Mile.

Politicians from all shades of the political spectrum joined together for the Running for Parliament event in aid of Sports Relief.

Though billed as a friendly jog in the park, it finished with a sprint to the line - won by Labour's Jim Murphy in a very creditable 5 minutes 26 seconds.

Sports Minister Richard Caborn crossed the finishing line two minutes later, 25 seconds behind defence secretary Geoff Hoon, and 15 seconds ahead of culture secretary Tessa Jowell.

"It's great fun - and all in the spirit of Sport Relief," said Ms Jowell.

"If I can do it - there are millions of people out there who can too."

Tessa Jowell and Barbara Cassani
Tessa Jowell and Barbara Cassani discussed Olympic venues
Sport Relief reaches a climax on 10 July, when 14 venues round the country will see one of the biggest mass-participation events in the history of the UK.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to put on the Sport Relief red sock and run a mile to raise cash for charity.

Half the money from the registration fees and donations will go to projects which try to make a difference through sport in the UK, and half to worthwhile causes abroad.

Sweating minister

The culture minister ran the mile with javelin gold medallist Tessa Sanderson and London Olympic bid second-in-command Barbara Cassani.

"I had a good stretch with Tessa Sanderson before we started," Ms Jowell said.

"Tessa, Barbara Cassani and I ran together and Barbara and I were talking about Olympic venues on the way round."

"It's all a bit of fun - but if we can do it, anyone can do it," a sweating Mr Caborn agreed.

"What's important now is that people go out and do their bit on 10 July."

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