THOUSANDS of runners took to Blackpool Promenade yesterday as the 30th annual Beaverbrooks 10K Fun Run exploded into life.
The day dawned bright and blustery as friends and families flocked to the sea front to warm up for the sprint along the Golden Mile.
Serious runners lined up outside the Hilton Hotel alongside a wide range of weird and wonderful costume-wearing teams.
A gaggle of Where’s Wallys joined Wallace and Gromit, some Mexicans, superheroes and even Santa .
But at last the countdown began and the runners set off creating a rainbow of colour as far as the eye could see. Supporters cheered from the pavement, and it was only 34 minutes and 25 seconds before the winner returned.
Thomas McDonald, 19, from Scotland, was first past the finish post. He said: “I’m made up to have won. It’s fantastic.
“It was tough with the wind in your face, so I’m really pleased with my time.”
Hot on his heels was Steve Waterhouse, 43, from Carlin Gate in North Shore.
He said: “It’s fantastic to have come second. I only ran it for the first time in 2006 and came about 700th. I’ve been training ever since and do better every year.”
Helen Lawrenson, 42, from Wesham, led the field for the ladies. She said: “There was a nice atmosphere running today. I’ve ran it many times but I’ve never been the first woman to complete it. I’ve just run the London Marathon, so I’ve had lots of training.”
The aim of this year’s race was to raise money for the NSPCC, although runners picked a wide range of local charities to support.
A medal was handed to everybody who completed and bottles of water were gratefully received.
Andrew Brown from Beaverbooks, who helped co-ordinate the race, said: “We’ve had more than 3,000 runners sign up for our 30th year, so it’s been wonderful.
“It’s great to see so many people still supporting it and signing up in teams to help raise money for great causes.
“We now hope everybody will make a super effort to collect their sponsorship money and get it in to us, so we can make it a bumper year for the NSPCC.”
Runners told of their delight to have completed the race. Jacob Peake, 24, from North Shore, ran the race in a brightly-coloured Morph suit, along with three friends from the Blackpool Bierkeller Sunday football team.
He said: “This is the third year we’ve ran in these suits. I think the ladies like them.
“They were good protection from the wind today.”