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VIDEO: Thousands turn out for Poole Festival of Running
THOUSANDS turned out for the Poole Festival of Running at Poole Park.
The annual event attracts everyone from international athletes to young children and fun-runners.
It sprung into life at 10am with a series of one mile and 1.5mile minithons for children aged between eight and 14.
Charlotte Brook, a student at Castle Court School, kicked things off by winning the girls' minithon for those aged eight and nine, before Christchurch Junior School's Finn Pardy took the crown for the corresponding boys' event.
Heidi Taylor, of Baden Powell Runners, won a tense girls minithon for ages ten and 11 by just one second.
Josh Jack, 11, who attends Castle Court but was competing for Cool Blues, won the boys' event for ten and 11 year-olds.
Grace Copeland, from Bournemouth Collegiate School, finished 29 seconds ahead of her nearest rival in the girls minithon for ages 12 to 14 before Dominic Willimore, of Cool Blues, won the corresponding boys event.
This was followed by a fun run for children aged eight and younger, the Dorset Cancer Centre 5k and the showpiece event - the Poole 10k race.
Families and friends of the participants lined the road and cheered on the runners as a commentator announced the winners over a loud speaker system.
There was also a bouncy castle, games and stalls to keep everybody entertained.
One of the festival's organisers, Lynda Adby, project officer for recreation and development at the Borough of Poole, said the day had been a huge success and was delighted with the large number of people who had come out to support it.
“I think it has been a fantastic day and everybody has really enjoyed it,” she added. “We have had about 450 children take part and more than £12,000 has been raised for a great cause.”
Lisa McGaw, who travelled from Verwood to attend, watched as three-year-old daughter Jessica competed with cousin Abigail, six, in the fun run.
“It is a much larger event than I thought it was going to be,” said Lisa. “It is Jessica's first race. She was really excited about taking part when she got up this morning and has been having a lot of fun.”
Three generations of the same family, led by 82-year-old grandmother Lyn Plumpton, took part in the Dorset Cancer Centre 5k run.
Lyn said she has been running for as long as she can remember and was proud that daughter Maryanne Hellewell and 15-year-old granddaughter Rosie were joining her to help raise money for a charity so close to her heart.
The Dorset Cancer Centre 5k was won by Jon Fairs in 16 minutes 34 seconds, with Joanne Dominey winning the women's contest in 19 minutes 18 seconds.
The day culminated in the much anticipated 10k Poole run, which was won by Kenyan Boniface Kiprop Kongin in 30 minutes 33 seconds, who beat second place Bournemouth runner Steven Way by 60 seconds.
Galleries from the different runs will be available on the Daily Echo website on Monday morning
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