Thousands make Market Drayton 10k a real runner - with pictures and video
It may have been the perfect weather for the spectators, but the runners in the Market Drayton 10k were almost breaking into a sweat before they even passed the start line.
The sounds of music and laughter rang out from the Grove School playing fields as the thousands of participants and supporters got swept up in the carnival atmosphere.
A football shoot-out, hook-a-duck and mini zoo were among stalls lining the top field, along with a prosecco and gin bar.
WATCH: Sun shines as thousands run in 10k
Resisting the tempting smells wafting over from the food vans, the runners began to limber up while the little ones made their way to the bottom field for the fun run.
Alison Birch, secretary of Whitchurch Whippets, said: “This event is always well attended and one we always come to. There are around 100 members in our group and we have 16 or 17 here today.
“We have just started a new couch to 5k group off, and we had 60 in the first week which was our most ever, and we hope to see some of them here this time next year.
“Paul Evans, who was one of our beginners last year, ran the London Marathon last month and he is running today too – so it can be done.”
Lawley Running Club’s Nicky Brierley stood out from the sea of blue T-shirts under the club banners on the field, with a helium balloon floating above her head reading ‘50th birthday’
“It’s actually my birthday tomorrow,” she said.
“To celebrate my 50th this year I ran the London Marathon, and I have got races in Edinburgh and Liverpool coming up after today.
“This is my 11th year running this race, and I’m hoping it’s nice and easy after the marathon. I joined the running club three years ago, and it is amazing to see so many of us here.”
After a rigorous and very loud warm-up session led by Bodytech, it was time for the 2,600 runners to make their way down to the start line.
Among them once again was Dave Mansbridge, who won the very first Market Drayton 10k in 2004, when there were just 125 participants.
The race was officially started by town crier Geoff Russell, before the runners shot off around the field before heading through the town.
Supporters lined the streets to cheer them on as they pounded the roads.
Race Director Tim Beckett said: “It has been fantastic, but this weather is not running weather. We were hoping it would be a bit cooler – I can’t see anyone setting a new personal best time in this heat.
“The turnout is fantastic, we have runners here from Geneva, Canada and Germany.
Seeing it all come together makes everything worthwhile.”