ALMOST 3000 people took part in Bendigo Health's 2013 Bendigo Bank Fun Run on Sunday.
This year's fun run included 15-kilometre, 10-kilometre and five-kilometre events and attracted people from all walks of life.
Bendigo Health chief executive officer John Mulder thanked the community for supporting the event.
"Last year we raised about $120,000 and we had about 2400 people involved," he said.
"And that purchased some vital equipment and allowed us to provide the sort of care that you all expect and deserve.
"And we thank you for not only for that, the money's just as vital this year, but the really important thing is the message we're sending to the Bendigo community about a healthy community.
"It's never been more important.
"This year, just last week we reached the top of the obesity ladder in Australia.
"The Loddon Mallee region is now officially number one on the obesity ladder.
"That's something we want to change.
"We want to change it very quickly and by coming out here today you're sending that message to the rest of the community."
Event starting times were delayed because of windy conditions but participants reveled in the opportunity to do some group warm ups to music.
Ben Ashkettle from Melbourne won the 15-kilometre category of Bendigo Health’s big Bendigo Bank Fun Run.
The 25-year-old Melbourne runner posted a time of 50 minutes and 57 seconds.
Mr Ashkettle said he had traveled to Bendigo for the fun run with mate Zac Couyant who is composing a photography project.
"He's doing a school project so I thought, 'Oh well, I'll come and do a race and he can take photos of the journey'," she said.
Mr Ashkettle said the wind had running fast a challenge.
"Given the conditions it was more just about enjoying it," he said.