MORE than 350 runners burned off their Christmas dinner in Poole Athletic Club’s Boxing Day Round the Lakes 10k race.

Despite some standing water on the course due to bad weather over the festive break, everyone left with a smile and a bottle of wine.

And there were some outstanding times recorded, with one of Britain’s top female marathon runners taking just over half an hour to complete the course.

Club treasurer Neil Williams, who stepped in to organise the event after a fellow runner had to pull out, said: “There was some water on the course, and we know there was at least one big puddle the runners had to splash through, but overall it went very well.

“355 people took part this year, and over 400 signed up to begin with, but inevitably you’re going to have some injuries and things like that. We did have some very fast runners take part. The winner was Chris Powner of the Winchester and District Athletics Club, who did it in 30 minutes and 41 seconds. He was just four seconds ahead of Shaun Dixon of the Highgate Harriers, who came a long way to take part in the run.”

Mr Williams said the club was delighted international standard runner Louise Damen competed.

“She was the first woman to complete the course, in a time of 33 minutes and 22 seconds, and around four minutes ahead of the next in,” he said.

“Louise Damen is also a member of the Winchester and District Athletics Club, so they have some fantastic runners. It was an absolutely stunning run.”

As the event finished, the rain began to fall.

“We managed to avoid it luckily,” said Mr Williams, who also organises the club’s summer race, The Beast.

“Everyone had a good time and left with a bottle of wine. It’s a good post-Christmas burn-off, and it gets your New Year’s resolutions off to a good start.”