A CHILLY autumn fog did little to dampen the spirits of the hundreds of runners who turned out for Sunday's Stroud Half Marathon.

Some 1,500 participants jostled on the start line outside Marling School to hear Mike Adlam - founder of the Willams Syndrome Foundation - blast his air horn to get proceedings underway.

The charity, which been associated with the race since 2001, is just one of dozens of worthy causes this year's batch of runners supported, including Cancer Research UK, Sue Ryder Care, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and The Door Youth Project.

Stroud Athletic Club runner Ander Russell was the local hero of the day - crossing the line just six minutes behind overseas winner Luka Rotich, whose finish in 63 minutes and 49 seconds was the fastest time clocked in 10 years.

Other highlights included a fifth place finish in the women's field for fellow Stroud athlete Kate Goodhead, an impressive 12th position for half marathon newcomer Xander Brown and a star turn by Forest Green Rovers chairman and Ecotricity founder Dale Vince.

"There was a great atmosphere on the course and at the finish from the many spectators who turned out to support the runners," said race director Chris Bourne of Stroud Athletic Club.

"The hard work of the organising committee was rewarded with a great event but the race could not happen without the fantastic support the club receives from the many organisations and individuals which is so appreciated."