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Emergency services head to Durham for hill sprint challenge

l-r Steve Cram, Sarah Nattrass, PC Lee Garside, Carol Feenan

The region’s emergency services are preparing to race each other at a special event in Durham city centre next month.  Representatives from police, fire and ambulance will line up for the Services Hill Sprint, a new event that will be held before the start of this year’s Prince Bishops Durham City Run on the evening of Wednesday 19 July.

The Services Hill Sprint will take place at 7:10pm on 19 July, minutes before the start of the Prince Bishops Durham City 10K and 5K races. Five representatives from each of the three emergency services will start on Sadler Street and race up to Palace Green, to be cheered across the line by thousands of participants in the Prince Bishops Durham City Run, who will have assembled ahead of the start of the 10K and 5K events at 7:15pm.

Everyone who takes part in the sprint is being offered free entry into one of the Durham City Run races and the winner of the challenge will receive a trophy. The sprint is being staged to highlight the vital work of the emergency services that allows major city centre events to take place. In addition to officers who will be on duty on the night, cadets from the police and fire services, and the army, will be part of the volunteer workforce in Durham.

Event founder and director Steve Cram comments: “We simply couldn’t stage big events like the Prince Bishops Durham City Run without the cooperation and input of the emergency services. Their contributions are hugely appreciated by us as event organisers and the Services Hill Sprint will be a chance for participants in the 10K and 5K to give the police, fire and ambulance racers a really rousing reception and let them know how much we all think of the amazing work that they do every day of the year.”

The 2017 Durham City Run is being organised by Events of the North, supported by Durham County Council, and with Prince Bishops Shopping Centre as headline sponsor.   The event is on track to sell out soon, with 2,500 runners set to take on the challenges of the city centre’s cobbled streets and undulating roads in the 5K and 10K races. This year’s event sees revised routes for both the 5K and 10K races, designed to deliver an improved race day experience for all runners. Organisers have made some minor adjustments to the 5K route and runners in the 10K will experience the amended route during their first lap and then follow a slightly different course for the second half of their race.

Carol Feenan, city centre manager at Durham County Council, adds: “We are always extremely grateful for the efforts of our emergency services and given the key role they play in the Durham City Run; it’s a really nice touch that this special event is being put on for them.

“I’m sure people will want to come out and show their genuine appreciation for everything our ‘999’ service workers do and this sprint promises to be the perfect forerunner for the main races.”

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