THE first Hestercombe Humdinger road race and fun run attracted more than 300 athletes back in February 2008.

Glorious weather and a scenic but steep 9.5-mile course based around Hestercombe Gardens challenged the runners, who were spurred on by a large crowd.

The event was the first organised by the Running Forever Running Club.

Race director Richard Palmer said: “It was really heartwarming to see such a great turnout.

“There was an excellent mix of both experienced and novice runners who seemed to love the course – even Humdinger Hill!

READ MORE: The Hestercombe Humdinger in 2010.

“The marshals did an excellent job, expertly supervised by marshal director Stuart Lambert.

“A big thank you to the many people who helped out on the day, to the local residents who supported the race and to Hestercombe Gardens for giving us the use of such a spectacular setting.

“It was a fantastic day for runners and spectators.

"The weather was perfect – sunny skies and no wind after a frosty start first thing.”

Competitors from local running clubs were joined by entrants from as far afield as Birmingham and London.

The men’s race was won by Gerry Hogg in a time of 57 minutes18 seconds, followed closely by Martin Pearse in 58.12 and third-placed Tom Mellor in 59.42.

The runaway winner in the ladies’ race was Jenny Moore, who finished seventh overall in a time of 1.03.06.

Second and third positions were decided by a close sprint finish, with Frances Bond just pipping Karen Cook by four seconds in 1.08.11.

The men’s team event was won by Taunton Athletics Club, with Honiton Running Club taking the ladies’ trophy.

The three-mile fun run was won by Rebecca Moore, aged 16, of Worthing, in a time of 18.42.