FUN-RUNNERS are gearing up for a sports event which will allow the village hospital to take a giant step closer to getting its brand new scanner.
More than 1,000 people are expected to lace up their trainers and take their positions on the starting line this weekend for the annual Harefield Hospital Fun Run.
This year the prize at the end of the three-and-a-half-mile route will be the chance to say they contributed to raising the £1.5 million needed to secure a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner.
The device is capable of producing three dimensional pictures of the heart and lungs.
A shorter one-mile route is also offered, and while running the whole distance is encouraged the main aim is for entrants to enjoy themselves and to get round in whatever way they are most comfortable with.
Among those taking part again this Sunday will be Susan Sweetman and her Nifty 50s+ team who first entered the race 10 years ago, 20 years after her husband underwent quadruple bypass surgery at the hospital.
She said: "The fun run is a fantastic event and I'm sure this year will be no different. If the weather is good and lots of people decide to enter and support it, I have no doubt it will be a success."
Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust fundraising director Jenny Walton said: "This year 18 transplant recipients have already entered and we're calling on the local community to get up, put on their trainers and join them - whether they walk, run or crawl."
Dr Tarun Mittal, lead clinician and consultant cardiothoracic radiologist at Harefield Hospital, said: "A new MRI scanner will help us continue to give patients the high quality treatment and care they have come to expect, for many years to come."
In 2007, more than 900 people took part in the fun run and helped to raise just over £34,000 through entry fees and sponsorship.
The run starts at 11.30am though there will be other activities, stalls and entertainment from 10am to 3pm.
Advance entry costs £3.50 for a child and £7.50 for an adult. Entry on the day is £5 for a child and £10 for an adult.
* To enter, contact Desiree Zimmerman in the fundraising department on 01895 828 820, or visit www.fundraising.rbht.nhs.uk