THOUSANDS flocked to Halesowen to take part or watch the eighth Black Country Road Run.

The town centre was transformed into a riot of colour as around 1,200 runners tackled the 10k and 5k routes - with the event hailed as the 'best ever' by organisers.

Among the runners taking part in the event yesterday (Sunday) was West Midlands mayor Andy Street and blind fundraising legend Dave Heeley.

Serious athletes powered round the streets in the 10km road race - with overall winner Trevor Osborne completing the course in a time of 35 minutes 46 seconds.

Sophie Wood, a member of Sale Harriers, who travelled from Manchester to take part, was the first woman past the finishing line with a blistering run of 37 minutes and 40 seconds.

Race organiser Halesowen and Rowley Regis Rotarian Alan Bowler, was delighted at how well the day went.

He said: "It was the best year ever.

"It was bigger and better than ever before.

"The town was swamped - it was very busy - there was a lot of support for the runners.

"We had a great turnout from the police - they gave out the medals in the fun run and firefighters from Haden Cross station gave out the medals in the 10k race.

"It was a real community event.

"The scouts had a great time - the weather was brilliant for it - it was a brilliant day and everyone enjoyed it.

"I'd like to thank Andy Street for taking part, he completed the 10k and 5k routes, and Blind Dave who was dressed as Black Country Mon."

Runners were able to pick their own charities to fundraise for and organisers are hoping to raise tens of thousands for good causes.

To date it has raised more than £250k for charities.

The Rotary Club of Halesowen and Rowley Regis provided a raft of volunteers to ensure the event went smoothly.

Mr Bowler said: "We would like to thank all of our volunteers from The Life Central Church, West Midlands 4x4 Response, Rotary Club members, The Inner Wheel Club of Halesowen and many many more individuals, who all gave up their time to make it a great success."

Each runner was awarded a medal, incorporating the Black Country Flag, for taking part.

A selection of pictures from the day are on the Halesowen and Rowley Regis Rotary Club's Facebook page.

The Black Country Road Run was one of many events taking place at the weekend as part of the Black Country Festival celebrations.

The month-long festival, now in its sixth year, runs until July 29, with the actual Black Country Day on July 14.

Other events coming up include Halesowen Carnival on July 6, Stourbridge Carnival on July 7, a Classic Car Show in Dudley town centre on July 13 and Black Country Musciom Festival at Himley Hall on July 14.