ALMOST 2,000 runners battled sweltering temperatures to take part in the Jane Tomlinson Pennine Lancashire 10k.

The sun shone on Burnley as fun runners and fundraisers mixed with athletes seeking new personal bests and people trying to get fit.

The race started and finished outside Burnley Town Hall and the scenic route included Thompson Park and Towneley Park.

It was the third time the run had been held in East Lancashire, after the Blackburn event in 2010 it has been staged in Burnley for the past two years.

The first person to complete the hilly course was local lad Matthew Lalor, 30, from Rosegrove, who runs for the Barlick Fell Runners, in a time of 33 minutes and 49 seconds.

He said: “I came second last year so it’s good to go one better. I was about 30 seconds quicker than last year, I was hoping to win but you never know who is going to turn up and how it’s going to go.

“I do a lot of 10k races but this course it tough, and the heat didn’t help.”

Emma Yates, 45, from York, was the first woman across the line in a time of 38 minutes and 59 seconds.

She said: “It’s a brilliant course with some great scenery, I never realised Burnley was so beautiful.”

Husband and wife team Howard and Pam Blood, 40 and 37, from Nelson, raised more than £100 for Pendleside Hospice.

Pam said: “This is the second year we have done it, it’s a great event. It was very hot out there this year.”

Andrea Armitage, 49, from Barnsley, was running with husband Mick, 47, and friend Alison Lock, 42.

Andrea received entry to four 10k runs and the Yorkshire Marathon in October as a Christmas present last year.

She said: “This was the second 10k, I’m not sure it’s getting any easier. We live in the hills so I didn’t find the course too bad, and although it was hot the first one we did in Hull was even worse.”

Among those raising funds for charity was 37-year-old Paul Tunstill, of Casterton Avenue, Burnley.

The former soldier completed the course with a 30kg fridge strapped to his back in aid of Pendleside Hospice.