THE very first Sticky Chocolate Trail Run got off to a great start on Saturday December from Cartmel Racecourse.

More than 500 competitors took to the festive trails around the Holker Estate, and were treated to mince pies and mulled wine at the feed stations around the course.

Conditions were distinctly soft going for the runners, many running in fancy dress, embracing the festive end of season feel to the 2012 Lakeland Trails series.

All finishers were rewarded with a locally produced Sticky Chocolate Pudding.

Santa Claus took time out from his busy schedule to start the children's Fun Trails, and even sped along for the first kilometre at the head of the main 10km race.

Great Britain internationals took honours in each of the senior women categories for the 10km and 5km events.

Rebecca Robinson (Kendal AC), completely dominated the five-kilometre event, beating all the men and winning outright in 23.20.

Second and third places went to Camilla and Emma McKnespiey (Carlisle & Aspatria) in 29.27 and 29.37.

Adam Lloyd (Bromsgrove and Redditch AC) was first man in a time of 23.34, followed by Joe Parkins (Kendal) in 32.02 and Tony Ainsworth (Kendal) in 34.23.

In the 10km event, in-form Damian Nicholls (Wilmslow Running Club) won a great race in 37.47, with Nick Leigh (Altrincham & District AC) in 38.20 and Will Jadesa (Helm Hill Runners) in 39.53.

GB International Mel Hyder (Helm Hill Runners), also dominated the women's event, winning in 45.05, from Rennell Brennan (Glaxo Hoad Hill) in 52.06 and Suzanne Toppin (ua Penrith) in 52.41.

Winners of the best fancy dress costume were Rachel and Simon Price, who ran around the 10km course dressed as Christmas Crackers, beating all the elves, pixies, santas and reindeers.

A live performance by singer-songwriter Pete Lashley singing some adapted Christmas hits entertained the crowds before the prize giving.

The running event was followed in the evening with the first Trails and Ales end of season party, with 120 guests attending for the 2012 series prize giving.

Special awards were presented to individuals who have completed all the Lakeland Trails events in Olympic year - the Super Eight's, as well as all the volunteers.

More than 10,000 competitors took the trails in 2012 in the most successful year ever for the Lakeland Trails.