RUNNERS from across Wiltshire took to the streets for the Bath Half on Sunday to raise money for worthy causes, as thousands of spectators cheered them on around the course.

Among those taking part in the race, which saw nearly 13,000 runners compete, was Trowbridge dads Ben Cherry and Ben Veal, who dressed up as Batman and Spider Man for the 13.1 mile route.

The two friends ran in aid of Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions, after both recently became fathers.

They launched a dedicated ‘Superheroes in Training’ online fundraising initiative and after surpassing their original fundraising goal of £500, they have now raised over £1,400 for the charity.

Mr Veal, 30, who is a PR professional in Bath, said: “The race went well. It was a struggle to run such a long distance in our costumes as visibility was poor and Ben's Batman costume, in particular, was far heavier than anticipated.

“However, we were really buoyed on by the crowds who cheered loudly for Spider Man and Batman for the entire 13 miles.

“We posed along the way for photos with young children and had a great time playing to the crowd throughout, so we hope that the sight of the two superheroes running side by side was a highlight for spectators.

“We completed the course in 2hr 37mins, but for us it wasn't about achieving personal bests - it was about raising awareness and money for Make-A-Wish Foundation UK.”

A seven-strong team from Wiltshire College Trowbridge also joined the thousands taking part, with six of those running forming part of a larger team fundraising for Children’s Hospice South West.

Public services lecturer Joe Mitchell and business support staff Julia Acklam, Emma Smith, Cassie Reid, Tom Zulver and Hannah Baylis joined Johan Grobler, who aims to raise £15,000 for the charity by completing this year’s 156-mile Marathon des Sables across the Sahara Desert.

Sue Davis, who is also a public services lecturer at the college, ran the Bath Half on behalf of the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group, completing the race in 2hrs 13mins.

Leigh Park Hotel chef Duncan Bond, of Trowbridge, was another who took on the challenge, running the course in aid of Many Tears Animal Rescue in 1hr 53mins and raising an impressive £700.

Trowbridge resident Ian McKee, who is running the London Marathon is April, completed the race in an impressive 1hr 26mins and has so far raised just over £500 for Cystic Fibrosis Trust.