Thousands pound town centre streets for Shrewsbury 10k run - PICTURES and VIDEO

Thousands of runners pounded the pavements and cobbles of Shrewsbury for the town's annual 10k run.

It is only the second time the event has been held and it is fast becoming a popular date on the running calendar.

Organisers say places are already on sale for 2018 and they hope to see the event continue to grow year on year.

Tom Meehan, event director, said: "We've had people running it in costume, people from the RAF running with a dummy body, people who have never done a 10k before running one for the first time and the people coming across the finish line first who are elite athletes. We want it to be an event for everybody.

"Part of the reason why it has become so popular is that last year we had a great team who put on a well organised event and people enjoyed the course.

"We're looking forward to it becoming a strong date in the racing calendar."

People from all over Shropshire and the West Midlands came into Shrewsbury to take part, from running clubs, as a personal challenge or to raise money for charity.

The centre of the town was shut for part of the morning to allow the race to go ahead, with runners starting from the Square, heading down the High Street, over the English Bridge and into the Quarry before returning to the centre.

With about 2,000 runners taking part in the event, sponsored by Mercedes Benz, there was a huge increase in the number of participants from the inaugural run in 2016.

There was also a huge number of spectators lining the streets to cheer people on, with workers at the former Bank store even standing on scaffolding to watch the start of the race.

Set off by race-starter Paul Shuttleworth of BBC Radio Shropshire, the first finishers completed the race in just over half an hour, with awards handed out in the Square at 10.30am on Sunday.

There were runners wearing jerseys from clubs and gyms from Shawbury, Market Drayton, Whitchurch, Telford, Shrewsbury and Bridgnorth – with athletes also travelling from across the West Midlands to take part.

Running from the Telford Harriers was Tania Willoughby from Buildwas, Stacey Hawkins from Brookside, Sue Fairhurst from St Georges and Jo Weaver from Shifnal.

Most of the group were taking on Sunday's run for the first time, but Tania took part in the inaugural run last year.

She said: "I found it quite tough last year but I hadn't been running for very long, this year we've got each other to run with."

Sue added: "There is a great atmosphere, it is really well organised."

The group were hoping that the rain would hold off for the run, and their luck was in, with clear skies for the duration of the race, which began at 9am and saw the first runners home in just over 30 minutes.

First across the line was Adam Peacock.

The 24-year-old from Bromsgrove, and a member of the town's running club, thought his time was likely to be around 33 minutes and 30 seconds.

He said: "It was tough, this was my first race since November.

"It was quite a hard course but the finish was good. My personal best is a bit quicker but I just wanted to get round.

"I've had a bit of time off from racing, been doing skiing and things so I haven't worn a watch today and I just wanted to see how it went.

"A friend of mine was taking part today so I came too."

This year also saw a number of people taking part for charity, with some donning fancy dress, including 32-year-old Kris Kelly from Shrewsbury who ran dressed as a penguin to raise money for Malinslee five-year-old Liam Finazzi, who is currently having treatment for leukaemia at Birmingham Children's Hospital.

Also in costume was Bridgnorth's Dana Power. The 60-year-old was debuting his new look Puff the Asthma Dragon costume and raising money for Cameron's Fund for Asthma UK.

Running with Dana was Gemma Brown, who with husband Ashley set up Cameron's Fund after their son Cameron Brown died in February 2008 following a severe asthma attack.

She said: "We're hoping to raise £100,000 for Cameron's Fund by the end of 2018 so we've got lots of really exciting stuff happening over the next year."

Mr Meehan said he was very pleased with how the race was growing.

He said: "We've had great support from the town council, local businesses residents, local runners and people travelling in to take part.

"It has all gone really smoothly and the runners have been crossing the line with smiles on their faces.

"I think the popularity of things like park run have helped the event to grow and also there was a great atmosphere last year that people have enjoyed.

"We're hoping it can become a really strong event in the racing calendar.

Entries are already open for next year's event which will take place on March 18 2018.

For more information visit shrewsbury10k.co.uk

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