MORE than a 1,000 people took part in Salisbury's champagne running event at the weekend, while raising cash for charity.

The popular but gruelling Salisbury 54321, organised by local members of the Fire Sports UK, gave participants the chance to cover distances from 5km to a 42km, either running or walking.

But for those in need for more of a challenge, a 50km ultra-marathon was also on offer.

The routes covered terrain from footpaths and bridle ways to quiet country roads

One of those to take part in the 24th instalment of the annual event was DS Nick Bailey, who ran the marathon in support of Salisbury District Hospital's Stars Appeal, after he was treated on the hospital's Radnor Ward last year having come into contact with the nerve agent Novichok.

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He finished in a time of 4:44:52.

Speaking to Sky News following the event, DS Bailey said: "I took quite a knock with the poisoning, both mentally and physically and I wanted to have something to work towards.

"I also wanted to give something back to the hospital, so I started in February with the fundraiser and it went from there."

Athletes from the UK and as far away as South Africa, New Zealand and Alaska were also signed up to take part.

Organiser Ludo Macaulay said: "A huge thank you to all the volunteers who assisted with this popular 24th staging of the Salisbury 54321 without whom this non profit making Sporting event could not continue to rate highly with Trail runners and walkers in this lovely part of Wessex.

"We reached our capacity with a week to go and were extremely fortunate in the weather particularly following 2 days of extreme weather.  

"What a great showcase for all 1100 participants who ran, jogged and walked around Salisbury and in so doing crossed five rivers, four hills, three large country estates, two castles and our spectacular cathedral."