A colourful field of enthusiastic runners lit up JCB lake when they took on a five-mile course as part of a popular annual run. A truly international flavour emerged at this year’s JCB Lakeside Five, which took place on Thursday.
Engineers Ajay Mahajan and Dhiraj Lokhande added a touch of eastern spice to the race when they completed the course wearing traditional Indian garb.
Ajay, 27, and Dhiraj, 28, are on 12-month secondments from JCB India’s factory in Pune. Ajay took part in the 34th annual race while four months into his secondment with the JCB Hydradig.
The worker, who is staying in Uttoxeter, said: “I wanted to really enter into the fun spirit of the event so I thought it would be a good idea to wear the cultural clothing of my homeland.
“It was lovely to run with my JCB India colleagues and we celebrated when we all got over the finish line.”
They decided to don the colourful costumes, including patterned kurtas – or upper garments – for the event’s alternative two-mile fun run course.
They were two of 10 JCB India employees working in the UK who competed. They were joined by a 330-strong field including Austrian Tristan Strobl, 19. The mechanical engineering student Tristan, from Vienna, is on five-weeks’ work experience.
Fancy dress was also the order of the day as race veterans Charles Bevan and Mick Grindey, who have taken part in every race so far, had a fairytale romance dressed as a famous Disney couple.
Mick, 55, of Uttoxeter, ran as “Beauty”, while Charles, 70, of Abbots Bromley, accompanied him as “The Beast”.
JCB Engineer Mick, who also organises the event, said: “It goes without saying I was ‘Beauty’ and Charles was ‘The Beast’. Mind you, I’d never run in a dress before – it certainly was interesting.
“It was great fun running around the course together and getting cheered on. It was a good job it was a bit cooler on the night because with my wig and Charles’ beast mask, it was pretty warm anyway.”
Stone-based runner Ben Gamble was the overall winner of the Lakeside Five. The 35 year-old former policeman-turned-sports therapist left the chasing pack in his wake to win in 26 minutes and nine seconds.
Vet Chloe Hawkins, 30, of Uttoxeter, was the first lady across the line in a time of 33 minutes and eight seconds.
The first JCB worker to finish was JCB Attachments product manager Dave Allen. He completed the course, near the JCB World HQ, in Rocester, in 31 minutes and 36 seconds.
HR advisor Laura Watkinson was the first female employee to finish, doing so in 40 minutes and 15 seconds.
The event was sponsored by JCB Backhoe Loader and those who finished received a medal.
After thousands were raised for nominated charity the NSPCC at the recent JCB Mud Run, another £3,252 went to the child protection charity through entry fees.