Doris the Start Bay humpback whale made an appearance at the Delicious Dart Trail on Saturday as people ran, ate and drank their way around the course.

Participants from all over Devon, and as far away as East Sussex, Surrey, Kent and Leicestershire, came to take part in the Delicious Dart Trail, with 356 out of 380 entrants making it to the start line on the day, and eventually finding their way to the finish.

The winners of the fancy dress prize going to a group of 13 friends known as the Stokenham Spamers, who last year dressed as the Yellow Submarine and this year reincarnated themselves as Doris the Start Bay humpback whale.

Artists and team members Particia Hitchens and Hilary Jensen designed and directed the group paint-in, and their efforts won them a £100 voucher donated by Nkuku.

Other eye-catching entries included a 12-strong group of friends dressed as The Very Hungry Caterpillar and three staff from Sharpham Vineyard dressed as bunches of grapes, fashioned from hundreds of small balloons.

Claire Boyt, a teacher at Exeter Deaf Academy, and Karen Partridge, a teacher at East Allington, both from Kingsbridge, dressed as Batman and Superman. Claire Boyt said: “The hardest part was eating and running! I almost choked granola bar. It was really well-organised and the food was delicious!”

Karen Partridge said: “Muddy, slippy but marvellous.”

Organiser, Kate Treleaven said: “We had the perfect day on Saturday and everyone appeared to have an absolute ball, thanks to the generosity of the supporting businesses and the good humour of our marvellous event marshals.

“We’ve been inundated with lovely comments from various folk expressing a mixture of sadness and disbelief that this year’s event will be the last. Who knows what will happen in future? Perhaps we’ll have a fallow year, like they do at Glastonbury, and if there’s enough demand we might revive the event in a year or two.”

Steve Guard, Kate’s husband, said: “360 people signed up in a week, it has been terrific. This is our fifth year, the support has been great but it is an enormous amount of work. “We expect to raise somewhere between £5,000 to £6,000 this year.”

The winners of the Spirit of the Trail and Fundraising prizes are yet to be annouced, and runners can still nominate candidates for the Spirit of the Trail prize on the Delicious Trails Facebook page.

The person whose deeds on the day are deemed to best embody the unique spirit of the event will win a Gin School Lesson for two at the Salcombe Gin Distillery.

Food and drink treats were available around the course, with many delicious menu items provided by local producers and sellers.

First prize in the raffle, an illustration of the trail signed by the artist, Paul Barclay, was won by Sarah Roberts from Salisbury.

So far, the fundraising total stands at £4,200 for CHICKS - Country Holidays for Inner City Kids - charity. The Fundraising Prize is open to anyone who raises or donates £50 or more.

Their names will be entered into a prize draw to win a night’s B&B for two with Devon cream tea at the Dart Marina Hotel and Spa. There is still time to donate via: and the prize draw will take place early next week.