A RUNNING challenge with a twist took runners on a journey to support the less fortunate at food banks in Weymouth in Dorchester.

Members of Dorchester RIOT have been doing more than just keeping fit. Whilst pounding the pavements, runners take on a variety of community activities.

During a recent challenge, sixteen teams ran in the wind and rain to donate essential items to food banks.

They managed to donate over 60 items such as cereal, toothpaste, tinned food, pasta and rice.

On a separate challenge, members of the running club also helped keep both towns clean by taking on a litter picking task.

A total of 35 bags of litter were collected from streets around Poundbury and Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester, as well as Weymouth's Lodmoor Country Park and RSPB Radipole Lake.

Runners of all abilities are welcomed at the Dorchester RIOT Running Club, organisers say, which offers a social and friendly environment.

Rachel Jones, Dorchester RIOT Club secretary, said the challenges are designed to bring runners together and encourage more people to take up the sport.

“We have always wanted to be more than just a running club," she added.

"One of our aims is to support local initiatives, so when this challenge was designed, we thought why not add a community element?

"Our RIOT members are amazing in how they got behind this 100 per cent, so I'd like to say a big 'thank you'.

"We know lots of runners were shocked at how much litter they collected in a short space of time - and we even had members of the public cheer and applaud them.

"We also hope we have helped increase the awareness of food banks and the valuable work of volunteers.”

Louise Ashley from Dorchester Food Bank said: “Thank you to all the runners who brought in food donations to the Dorchester Food Bank.

"We were totally blown away and you should be proud of the contribution you have made to this worthy cause.”

For more information about Dorchester RIOT visit dorchester.runriot.uk

For more information about foodbanks visit www.dsw.church/news/food-banks.html