A BOOZY ten-mile stumble between two pubs will raise much-needed funds to keep a lifesaving air ambulance flying.

Runners ranging in skill - from ex-Olympians to couch potatoes - take part in the annual Winter Wobble.

Starting at Ye Olde Albion pub, in Rowhedge, runners are encouraged to down a glass of mulled wine before setting off.

At a ‘water station’ along the route, runners are offered either a Snowball – a cocktail typically comprising advocaat and lemonade – or a shot of spirit.

Participants then reach the Black Buoy, in Wivenhoe, where they will be urged to enjoy another mulled drink before completing the ten-mile route by returning to Rowhedge.

Organiser Kevin Grant, of Long Brew Running Club, helps to put on the race to raise funds to help Essex Air Ambulance.

The event was first staged two years ago as a fun run with a twist.

in 2013, Mr Grant’s son Jordan, then 17, fell 30ft through the roof of a derelict warehouse in Rowhedge, Colchester, suffering a severe head injury, internal bleeding and several broken bones.

Doctors from the Essex Air Ambulance provided vital treatment on the scene before Jordan was flown to the major trauma centre at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge.

"A few years ago my son had a really terrible accident - he fell from a building and had a traumatic brain injury,” said Mr Grant.

"He did make a good recovery and that was thanks in large part to the air ambulance, which saved his life.

"Me and my partner can never thank them enough.

"I hadn't realised it was a charity until then, and I wanted to come up with something to support them.

"The first thing I could think of was running a marathon – which we did alongside a few other things.

"I thought about setting up a running event and was looking around at others, I thought they were a bit dry.

"We thought 'wouldn't it be fun if a couple of times a year we do this event and not take it all so seriously.'”

The race reverses the route of its sister event - The Summer Stumble – with the two fundraising runs attracting dozens of participants each year.

"It is a bit of fun,” said Mr Grant.

“We have people who come along and stop and start.

“We have had people who stopped halfway and ordered a pizza.

"We have had an ex-Olympian take part and absolutely smash it.

"Equally we have people who will walk round with a bottle tequila in their hand.

"There are no rules for how to complete the race.

"We are really well supported by the two pubs.”

Every penny raised during the run will be split between Essex Air Ambulance, mental health charity Team2together and Small is Beautiful - which supports an orphanage in Uganda.

To sign up, visit sportsentrysolutions.com/allraces.php and select the Winter Wobble 2019.

Runners can opt to complete a five mile or ten mile route.