More than 500 athletic villagers took to the Marlow Bottom countryside yesterday and ran 10k in memory of well-loved Tina Choules who was killed at her home two weeks ago.

Around £5,000 was raised for IT equipment at Burford School, Marlow Bottom, as a result of the first ever Burford Bolt race which took place on Sunday (July 18).

The route was planned to run past Mrs Choules’ beloved woodland home, so after considering cancelling the race altogether organisers decided to hold the event in memory of the pensioner instead.

Runners and spectators took part in a minutes silence to pay their respects before the race began.

The 81-year-old widow had helped to cut back a lot of the route by trimming the grass and getting rid of stinging nettles so the runners could pass through on the day without any problems.

Despite the village mourning the loss of Mrs Choules, the crowds were filled with togetherness and community spirit according to race director Samantha Amends.

She said: “It was very good. We had way more than we were expecting. We had about 500 runners we could not have asked for anything better.

“I guess it did so well because it was a school and we did a lot of advertising. With social media now it is easier to get the message out and it is off road so it was a lovely race.

“It was a real community race and everyone came together to make it happen.

“We had to be very sensitive with the route around Tina Choules’ house, we left it very clear when they ran through the temple.

“We held a minutes silence and talked about her, how lovely she was. It was the respectful thing to do as her death shocked so many people in the area.”

Around 150 runners took part in the 10k race, 52 for the 5k and a staggering 300 took part in the children’s fun run.

Alex Miller was the first male to win the 10k race in 37.56 minutes and Maddie Horton was the first female after 41.41 minutes.

For the 5k race Anakin De Oliveira came out on top for the men in 23.29 minutes and Amelia Kenneth was the first woman after 27.19 minutes.

 And the popular fun run saw Ollie Cooke from Speed Demons win out of the boys and Lyla Griffin from Burford School come first out of the girls.

After receiving a raft of positive feedback following the race, organisers said it will take place again in 2017.