Former Watford and England manager Graham Taylor started-off runners at an Abbots Langley fun run this morning.

The Hornets legend sounded the horn for about 289 participants of the annual Tough Ten, a ten kilometre race which raises money for a number of local organisations.

In total, 448 runners took part in four races on the day.

Taylor has started the race for the past few years and said it is the commitment from people in the village that makes the event special.

“It is fantastic. There is a complete mix of people and there is that village atmosphere. This is an area where I have always felt I've known what's going on and this is what village communities are about.”

The current Watford chairman participated in the race about 26 years ago - then a distance of ten miles.

He added: “I'm still haunted by the final stretch up Gallows Hill Lane. I used to take pride in running a mile under six minutes so I'd hoped to break an hour. I came in in one hour thirty seconds and that hill was the reason. I'm sure my car even slows down when I'm driving up it.”

As well as the 10k show piece, the modern Tough Ten, at Abbots Langley Cricket Club, in Gallows Hill Lane, includes three smaller events of 1.5k, 3k and 5k.

Before the start of the 10k, Watford entrant Jo Aldridge was warming-up at the start line.

She said: “I'm not usually a runner but got signed up by a friend. I'm a bit nervous but excited too. The atmosphere is good and I'm looking forward to it.”

The rain held off for most of the morning as the shorter races were completed and runners were handed medals on the finish line by Mr Taylor.

Alison Warner, who helps organise the event, said the Tough Ten was an event that brings the whole community together.

“So many people come along on the day, either to support, run or help out – it is fantastic.”

Stephen Murphy was first over the line in the 10k in what is thought to be a course record-setting 31 minutes and 37 seconds.