MORE than 400 runners took part in the gruelling Studland Stampede run this morning.

The tough 12k off-road race, which took place over heathland and sandy beaches, is in its twelfth year.

One of the event organisers, Victoria Turner, said: "It has been an amazing day, the weather really helped. There has been a great vibe down here."

The route took in views of Old Harry Rocks, Brownsea Island and the Isle of Wight, and was open to runners of all abilities.

Victoria added: "It is such a popular event, it sells out in March. But it is quite a tough race and there is so much to contend with, the tides, the beach. On Thursday a storm brought loads of stinky seaweed in as well, but it is all part of the fun."

The Studland Stampede is part of the Purbeck Trail series of six runs.

Runners taking part in four or more of the runs, all based in Purbeck, are automatically entered into the series, which takes in a range of distances and types of off-road terrain.

All runners completing the event score points according to their final position, with their best four results taken into account.

The six events that now make up the Purbeck Trial series are the Studland Stampede, Lulworth Castle 10k, The Beast 13-miler, Purbeck Marathon, The Black Hill 10k and the 5k Studland Fun Run.

Series winners were announced shortly after Sunday's Studland Stampede, the last race in the series calendar.

Victoria said: "The National Trust has been amazing, so has a local company called Dorset Flapjacks. They give us 500 flapjacks for the runners every year."