They know how to party down in Poole and the annual Festival of Running is a joyous event. Although the home clubs ran away with the team prizes in the flagship 10k race that anchors the whole weekend, visitors from neighbouring Bournemouth and leafy London Borough Harrow claimed the top individual prizes.
This year's Poole Festival of Running was held over two days for the first time and the new format was an instant success, with more than 2,000 entries and 1,865 finishers in six races.
The weekend started with the Poole Hospital Charity 5K in Poole Park on Saturday afternoon (3 June). This year's aim was to raise a significant sum to purchase equipment for the radiotherapy ward. There were 400 finishers headed by Richard Waldron (Southampton, 16:06) and talented under-15 junior, Fern Kimber (Poole Runners, 18:47), who is the Dorset 3000m champion.
The 5k race was followed by live music in the marquee accompanied by street food, gin bar, summer pitchers and a free to enter 2k time trial round the lake, putting the 'festival' into running – all to be avoided by anyone serious about the following morning's 10k race!
Sunday morning started with the traditional kids minithon races, concluding with an under-6 dash with parent before the main event started at 10:30am.
The men's 10k prizewinners were Jacek Cieluszecki (Bournemouth, 31:56), Mark Jenkin (Bideford, 32:19) and Richard Waldron (Southampton, 32:59), showing no ill effects from his efforts less than 18 hours earlier.
Leigh Lattimore (Harrow, 36:33) claimed the women's bling from Charlotte Bunch (Eastleigh, 37:47) and Joanna Hanna (Poole, 38:32).
Karl Palmer (M40, 52:49) marked halfway and there were 400 runners inside 50 minutes.
Image courtesy Poole Festival of Running