WHEN Reg Koster first started organising the Thame 10k more than 20 years ago, only runners and their supporters lined the streets.

Now there are shoppers and drivers, as Sunday trading has opened up new routes and brought folk out to cheer the athletes on.

It is one of several changes Mr Koster has seen during his time with the event, which will come to an end on Sunday, June 29, when he steps down.

He will be joined in retirement by fellow Thame Runners members Mark Emmett, and Neil Richards, who have each been at the helm for about 15 years.

Mr Koster said: “We used to go on main roads because there was no Sunday shopping in the 1990s, but now we have road closures, which aren’t cheap.

“Now all runners wear bibs with race numbers and embedded chips which provide exact times automatically.”

The race was started by the Thames Boys Brigade in 1985 to raise money for a trip to the Cook Islands.

Thame Runners took over the following year, and kept up raising money for good causes, including the Rotary Club of Thame, 1st Thame Scout Group and Lord Williams’s School.

Since 1985 it has raised £40,000 and entry numbers have increased from about 300 to 1,000 people.

The Thame 10k, sponsored by sales company CPM, will take place on Sunday, June 29, at 9.30am.

It starts and ends at Thame Leisure Centre, taking runners through the town centre to Towersey and back along the Phoenix Trail.

The race is limited to 1,000 runners and there will be no entries on the day.

Last year, it was full by the end of May.