GLOOMY skies didn’t deter thousands of people from donning their running shoes in front of cheering crowds at the Bournemouth Bay Run on Sunday.

A party atmosphere greeted the participants and supporters as the event celebrated its 40th year. Runners of all abilities and ages were welcome, with four races to choose from: a 1km, 5km, 10km and half marathon.

Just under 3000 runners ran, jogged or walked around one of Bournemouth’s biggest events of the year, raising money for three charities: Dorset Mind, Lewis Manning Hospice Care and the RNLI.

The 10km began first at 9.15am and was shortly followed by the 1km fun run along the promenade and back, which was won by 11-year-old Joshua Allnutt.

Bournemouth Echo:

The event was a family affair for the Mein, Crosby, Smith and Edmonds families, as family members took on the 1km fun run, the 10km and half marathon.

David Mein said: “All the family are into running, so we do different events.

“We do quite a few runs. Because we’re from Bournemouth, this one’s really good, it’s on our doorstep. We’ve really enjoyed it.”

Bournemouth Echo:

The half marathon started at 10am at Pier Approach, looping around the chines, back along towards Hengistbury Head before finishing back at Bournemouth Pier.

Rob McTaggart, went from winning the 10km race to the start line of the half marathon, which he then won, too.

He said he was “buzzing” to win both.

“It couldn’t have gone any better,” Rob said.

Bournemouth Echo:

Runners were unanimous in their praises of the atmosphere and crowds, helping runners to best their target times as their trainers pounded the ground along the seafront.

Kat Owens came third in the half marathon, and said: “The support was brilliant, people were so lovely.

“There were big groups of people, they’d all cheer, and it really makes a difference.”

Charlotte Sampson was running with her sister, Laura, in the 10km.

Charlotte said: “It’s really friendly and a really good mix of people doing the race, so definitely recommend it.”

The event director, Ali Perrins, was thrilled with how the Bay Run had gone.

“We’ve had a really fantastic day, the sun is almost coming out now.

“It’s gone really smoothly, really well.”