THOUSANDS of runners from across the south put their best foot forward for the New Forest Marathon on Sunday.

The 26-mile race saw members of running clubs in Hampshire and neighbouring counties assembling at New Park, Brockenhurst, the home of the New Forest Show.

As well as the marathon, there was also a half marathon, two 5k and 10k races, a junior event and a woodland walk.

Among those taking part was Hampshire resident Steve Radjen, 56, who is attempting to run 21 marathons in 21 consecutive days to raise money for Naomi House and Jacksplace to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the hospice.

He hopes the challenge will raise £100,000 for the charity.

In total, Steve will be running 550 miles which is the same distance from his home in Brockenhurst to Switzerland.

Speaking before the race, he said: "From the first day I visited Naomi House I knew I wanted to do as much as I could to help raise money for this incredible charity."

Also taking part will be two US runners and a family from New Zealand.

Last year's marathon was won by William Goozee of the Isle of Wight Road Runners, who finished in a time of time of 02:47:44.

Steve Osborne, of Run4allRC, came first in the half marathon with a time of 01:12:44, while Matt Risden of Hedge End RC won the 10k with a time of 36:54. The 5k was won by Daniel Zurynek (Kubler Racing All Stars) in 21:24.

The multi-terrain route of the marathon is said to be one of the most scenic courses in the country, boasting a mixture of forest enclosures and open roads.

First held in 1983, the marathon was staged in New Milton until 2013.

Following the cancellation of the 2014 event the annual spectacular was reborn on September 13, 2015, with a modern race village and extra events including the half marathon and the woodland walk.