Runher: Titanic Quarter awash with colour as record 1,650 runners pound its streets for charity
The pavements of the Titanic Quarter were turned neon as well over 1,000 women and girls donned their lycra and trainers to take part in the biannual Belfast Telegraph Runher race yesterday.
For the first time a 5K event was added to proceedings, emphasising its focus on personal achievement as well as competiveness.
In total, 1,650 women competed in both races - the biggest turnout Runher has had to date.
The event, which was previously held at Stormont, is now in its second year at its new location at the Titanic Quarter.
Both routes meandered around the back of Titanic Belfast, tracing the edges of Belfast Harbour, passing the famous Harland & Wolff cranes Samson and Goliath before heading east across the Sam Thompson Bridge to complete a lap of Victoria Park and return back to the finish line at Titanic Belfast.
DJ Sonya Mac kept spirits high with a selection of upbeat tunes as she cheered on the women as they set off, and again as they sprinted towards the finish line.
One runner at the finish line summed up the Runher atmosphere well: "The other girls are really encouraging here, everyone wants you to finish it and we all spur each other on. There's a lot more of a team feel to it than at other races."
Melissa Eccles from organisers Pure Running explained: "It brings women together, no matter what your age or ability. It celebrates women's running and success.
"We've to manage work, family and running and there's nothing that really celebrates the fact that they actually find the time to run while taking the kids to school, while going to work, while doing the washing, while doing the cooking and be able to enjoy it - they deserve it."
Race director Michael Jenkins added: "We've had a record turnout. There were a lot of last minute entries today because of the beautiful weather. It's safe, it's friendly, it's about families running together and there's just something really special about all the girls taking part together in Runher."
North Down Running Club member Jessica Craig managed the fastest time for the 5K.
The 25-year-old crossed the finish line with a clear lead just 18 minutes and 29 seconds after she started.
Meanwhile, Kilkeel mother-of-four Laura Graham was declared the fastest 10K runner.
She said that she came along as a late entry - only deciding to enter Runher on the morning of the competition.
The 29-year-old started running to raise money for charity after her father had a heart attack.
Laura decided to run the Belfast Marathon and she said that since then she has spent every minute, hour and day she can running.