even species, with sundry non-traditional variations on the costume, collecting for all kinds of charities - medical, social, environmental - and many of them had set up booths and banners for their groups.
posing for group photos, they all flooded towards the start point, and set out round the edge of the park.
The fastest of the serious athletes among them were back at the beginning of the 5km course within a quarter of an hour, and from then on a mixture of fast runners, joggers, people with dogs and pushchairs on a family amble came through. Clearly one child could not be parted from her scooter, but there was one little lad, who can't have more than about 7, who ran proudly home with his dad, grinning from here to Christmas. Somehow they all managed not to bump into each other as they either collected their medal with relief or ran straight on to make it up to 10km. Apart from a few late stragglers, it was all over in plenty of time for lunch.