ATHLETIC pupils and parents took on a school run with a twist in a mission to keep fit.

Youngsters ditched their usual morning lifts and hot-stepped their way around Hove Park instead.

Pupils from The Bilingual Primary School in The Droveway, Hove, were joined by Team GB runner Elliot Giles as they raced around the grounds.

Elliot specialises in the 800 metres race and won the bronze at the 2016 European Championships.

The School Run event was hosted by DW Fitness First gyms to encourage parents and children to exercise together.

It launched the event last year after research found that more than nine out of ten parents in Brighton lose up to five hours of exercise a week after having children.

Parents taking part in the study said that it was because of a “lack of time” and because “children were too distracted” that they gave up on keeping fit, with many saying they did not know how to exercise with their children.

Lee Pinnington, DW Fitness First marketing director, said: “We know that juggling parenthood with keeping the whole family fit and healthy is tough.

“The research revealed that, while parents want to stay fit, they find it difficult because of the demands of having children. In reality parents often spend significantly less time exercising after having children and that can also lead to them putting on weight.”

The research showed that more than three quarters of Brighton parents had put on weight after having children, with more than half of parents saying they had put on up to 1.5 stone.

To try and raise awareness of this, pupils and parents gathered at Hove Park 8am on July 8 to take on The School Run challenge.

As part of the campaign, the gym also introduced a family fitness guide designed to help time-poor parents combine workouts with their everyday routine.

It is “built around a child’s natural behaviour” and also includes exercises designed to deal with tantrums and distractions.

The campaign is part of a partnership with the UK’s four national governing bodies of athletics and running - England Athletics, Scottish Athletics, Athletics Northern Ireland and Welsh Athletics.