MORE than £20,000 has been raised for charities by swimmers and runners who took to land and sea for the annual TenFoot weekend.

The event saw 350 fun runners, 225 swimmers and 75 swim/ runners – the latter a challenge that is believed to be a first for Pembrokeshire.

This was the third year that the weekend had been staged, and it opened with the Friday night family-friendly FootStep Run between Saundersfoot and Stepaside.

There was a lively atmosphere in Saundersfoot, with most of the 350 participants wearing fancy dress. After they had competed their chosen distances – ranging from half a mile to five miles – medals were presented by former Wales rugby international, Ian Gough.

Saturday afternoon brought the TenFoot Swim, with the 75 swim/runners setting off from Tenby’s Castle Hill to cover a gruelling 10k course.

Minutes later, the 225 swimmers plunged into the water of Tenby’s North Beach to cover the 5k around the coast to Saundersfoot.

Both groups were waved off by the mayor of Tenby, Tony Brown, together with Ian Gough.

Ian had signed up for the swim/run, but although a neck injury forced his withdrawal, he took to the water on his paddleboard to join the support crew of over 100 kayakers, paddle-borders and small craft.

The swimmers headed for Monkstone beach and a medical check before going back into the water to finish on Saundersfoot beach.

Meanwhile, the swim/runners exited the water at Waterwynch and ran through New Hedges to Monkstone. After swimming to Swallowtree for another check, they ran through the woods to Glen Beach to swim the last leg to Saundersfoot.

The first swimmer home was Jake Plumbley of Pontypool and the swim/run saw Andrew Wallace of Pembroke leading the field.

There was huge applause as medals were presented on Saundersfoot beach by the mayor of Tenby, Tony Brown; Saundersfoot Community Council chairman, Neil Sefton and Thom James of the event’s main sponsors, FBM Holidays and FBM Estate Agents.

The day came to a great end when local singer Daz entertained around 700 people in the centre of Saundersfoot.

Participants remarked on how picturesque the course was, and many referred to the challenging conditions - especially at the Monkstone Point area - and praised the safety support crew.

Commented the organisers: “You can’t run an event like this without the commitment and dedication of all the kayakers, paddleboarders, marshals, water safety and medical teams.

“There were an incredible 75 kayakers and paddleboarders registered on the day by our water safety team, and 32 boats or ribs which supported the event.”

They also thanked all the volunteers and the many sponsors, and added: “It’s great that Tenby and Saundersfoot come together to put on a fantastic charity event where every penny raised goes to the beneficiaries.

“The two main charities this year were Huntingtons and Bone Cancer Research Trust, and there will also be donations to those groups who helped us with safety cover on the day.”