Charles starts Sport Relief race

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen: The Prince of Wales has started a Sport Relief race at Dumfries House in East Ayrshire The Prince of Wales has started a Sport Relief race at Dumfries House in East Ayrshire

The Prince of Wales has marked the launch of Sport Relief 2014 by starting a race around the house he saved for the nation.

Charles was joined by Scottish X Factor finalist Nicholas McDonald for the launch of the Dumfries House Sport Relief Mile today.

About 100 young people from local primary and secondary schools and Sport Relief-funded projects set off on the run, which took them around the Dumfries House estate in East Ayrshire.

Those wanting to take part in this year's Sport Relief can choose to run, swim or cycle on the weekend of this year's Sainsbury's Sport Relief Games from March 21 to 23.

Events are taking place at more than 1,000 locations around the UK, including at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.

The money raised by the public is spent by Comic Relief to help people living difficult lives, both in the UK and across the world.

Charles, who is known as the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland, led a consortium which bought Dumfries House and saved it for the nation in July 2007.

The house and estate have been developed as a visitor attraction and the Prince visits it several times a year.

The estate includes the Tamar Manoukian Outdoor Centre, which provides accommodation and team activities for schools and the uniformed youth services, the Belling Hospitality Training Centre, artists' studios and the Sawmill Traditional Skills Centre.

The runners at Dumfries House included McDonald and The One Show's Alex Jones and Matt Baker.

Pipers played as 12-year-old Aidan Hessett from Auchinleck Academy became the first to cross the finish line.

Before sounding the klaxon to kick off the first Sport Relief Mile of 2014, Charles said: "I do hope that all of you taking part will have some very good exercise and perhaps some considerable relief by the time you reach the end of the mile."

Jones said after the run: "It was really quite refreshing to run this morning with all these young people, to do it in such nice surroundings, and to be the first to do the mile for Sport Relief 2014."

Baker said: "What a way to start off, with His Royal Highness, with the hooting of the horn.

"He did warn us about the potholes and he was right, so he's obviously been out and set the course."

He added: "There's a great spirit here and everybody's in a fundraising mode. Let's hope it continues."

McDonald said: "It was a privilege to be invited, to do the mile and meet everyone, all the kids.

"It was such a good day but I'm so unfit.

"I used to go out and play football with my mates before the show (X Factor) but since the show I've been eating a lot of rubbish.

"I hope people get encouraged by this, though.

"I hope everybody gets their mile done, even if it's running to the shop and back and you get a sweetie after.

"Everybody has to go and do their mile."

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