THE third annual Rochford Running Club 10k attracted the most runners in the event’s history.

An impressive 335 competitors were involved in the race, with those involved hailing the 10k a resounding success.

Katherine Goodchild, who was involved in the race, said: “A very big thank you to all the volunteers because it was fantastically organised and a wonderful run.”

The was first hosted in 2014 - three years after the formation of Rochford Running Club.

And like the club, the event has gone from strength to strength.

The first male to complete the challenging course was Chris Hatton, who finished with an impressive time of 36 minutes and three seconds.

Southend Athletic Club duo Tobias Wright and Christian Holmes were the next competitors to cross the finish line, with a time of 37 minutes and five seconds and 37 minutes and 32 seconds respectively.

The first female home was Vicky Cooper of Barking Road Runners.

Cooper, who suggested that the event was “the best 10k ever” finished with a time of 43 minutes and 56 seconds.

Benfleet Running Club’s Kiera Tippett was the next female to conquer the course, in a time of 45 minutes and 57 seconds.

Chantel Mason was less than a minute adrift of Tippett, in 46 minutes and 37 seconds.

The winning times are made even more impressive due to the fact that the challenging course sees participants compete over a mixture of road and trail paths, taking the runners across private farm land and along the seawall of the River Crouch before returning to the race’s starting point at Ashingdon Academy.

The Rochford Running Club 10k received praise from numerous competitors following the climax of the race.

Debbie Pattison, of Rochford Running Club, admitted that the event is also intended to bring the community together.

Pattison said: “The race prides itself on being a community event.

“There are refreshments and ice creams readily available for the spectators to cheer the runners on from the amazing grounds of the Ashingdon Academy.”

Local business sponsorship, in the form of donations for the competitors’ goody bag and cakes for the refreshment hut, also increase the community feel to the day.

The medals awarded to competitors celebrated the link between Ashingdon and the Battle of Assandun, which took place more than 1,000 years ago and saw the battle reportedly end on the hill where the Ashingdon Church now sits.

After the success of the race, Rochford Running Club has confirmed that another event will take place later this year.

Richard’s Race will be hosted to raise money for the charity MIND, in memory of late member Richard Bennett.