ENTRIES are open for Poole’s 2013 Festival of Running – and organisers have announced the year’s chosen charity.

Dorset Cancer Centre will benefit from the series of races taking place on Sunday June 2 at Poole Park.

In its 32nd year, the festival aims to build on the Olympic legacy and will include seven races for all ages and abilities.

There will be a chance to see some potential Olympians in the nationally recognised Poole 10k road race, at 2pm, which is open to international, club and recreational runners.

The event also includes the Dorset Cancer Centre 5K, supported by the Daily Echo, at 11.30am, open to all-comers. Organisers hope as many joggers and charity runners as possible will turn out to raise money.

The “minithon” races for ages eight to 14 begin at 10am, with everyone encouraged to collect sponsorship for Dorset Cancer Centre.

Last year’s event raised more than £7,000 and organisers hope to beat that total this year by involving more children than ever. Schools will also be encouraged to organise teams.

Event chairman Mike Towner of Poole Runners said: “Every year, we like to use the festival to support a well known local charity, and for the coming year the Dorset Cancer Centre seemed like the obvious choice, because of all their hard work in and around the area. We hope to attract up to 2,500 runners of all ages this year, with the aim of raising as much funds as possible to donate to this worthwhile cause.”

The Borough of Poole has helped make the event possible and the main sponsors will be Marsden Flooring of Braodstone and Everyone Active.

Lee Marsden of Marsden Flooring (Broadstone) said: “As a runner and local business I hope as many people as possible will come and enjoy this exciting local event.” Mark Lefty of Everyone Active, area manager for Rossmore, Dolphin and Ashdown leisure centres, said: “The Poole Festival of Running gives everyone, especially those starting to improve their fitness as a New Year’s resolution, something to aim for. We’re pleased to support this event and help people improve their fitness whilst raising money for a worthy local cause”

Entries to all the races are now open and can be made online at poolerunners.com For information about Dorset Cancer Centre, email fundraising@poole.nhs.uk