ORGANISERS and participants of a weekly, heart-racing event celebrated a milestone in the only way they know how.

The Highwoods Parkrun, which takes place in Colchester’s beautiful country park, sees off-road runners tackle a 5km jog every Saturday morning.

On Saturday, the keep-fit initiative saw about in the region of 160 runners, joggers and walkers mark the event’s first 1st anniversary.

Setting off at 9am, representatives from 24 different running clubs, in addition to 27 first-time runners, made their way around the course, defying the uneven terrain and rain-saturated ground.

Members from the Colchester Harriers Athletics Club also took part, helping set the pace throughout the field.

Highwoods Parkrun’s Paul Arnold helped maintain a steady speed by cycling in front of the racers.

In true birthday fashion, a delicious cake also had a starring role in the celebrations, courtesy of Lizzi Hollis.

The event acted as a joint celebration, with International Women’s Day falling on the following day.

A total of 59 female runners took part in the race and the first female finisher was Annabel Litchfield, who finished in third place overall with a time of 20 minutes and 48 seconds.

A total of 40 personal bests were also achieved.