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The Prince Bishops Durham City Run – bigger and better in 2017

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The 2017 Prince Bishops Durham City Run has been labelled a big success by race organisers and participants alike. A capacity field of 2,500 runners entered the 5K and 10K races on Wednesday evening, which followed challenging routes around the city’s cobbled streets and undulating roads. On a warm evening, they were cheered on by crowds of spectators who lined the course.

The 2017 Prince Bishops Durham City Run was organised by Events of the North, supported by Durham County Council. For a second year, Prince Bishops Shopping Centre was headline sponsor. Following the popularity of the inaugural event in 2016, the race route was changed slightly to allow for an increased capacity and to give runners an even better race night experience.

Before the start of the main races, representatives from the police, fire and ambulance services competed with each other in the new Services Hill Sprint. Racing up towards Durham Cathedral and Castle and around Palace Green, they were given a rapturous reception by runners who had assembled ahead of the 5K and 10K races. The fire services team won the race. Another addition to the programme for 2017 was the Best Bar None Corporate Challenge, which saw a team from Best Bar None win a trophy and shopping vouchers.

The Prince Bishops Durham City Run attracted runners from throughout the region, including leading competitors from the North East’s athletics clubs. A special payback incentive scheme meant that many clubs had enough representatives in the races to earn cash to invest back into grass roots sport. Hundreds of fun runners also took part, including many who were raising money for good causes. As well as a big turnout of runners and spectators, the event was supported by a large team of volunteers, including students from Framwellgate School, and army, police and fire cadets.

The winner of the 2017 Prince Bishops Durham City Run 10K was Stephen Jackson of Elvet Striders in 34 minutes and eight seconds. Cameron Allan of Durham City Harriers was second (36:33) and Dominic Munnelly was third (36:48). Tracy Millmore of Birtley AC won the ladies’ race in 37:42, with Catherine Hawco of Jesmond Joggers in second (41:42) and Jemma Bell third (43:08).

The winner of a very competitive and fast 2017 Prince Bishops Durham City Run 5K was Nick Swinburn of Morpeth Harriers in 15:49. George Lowry of Jarrow & Hebburn AC was second in 15:59, with Daniel Jenkin of Durham City Harriers third in 16:04. First lady was Robyn Bennett of Elswick Harriers in 18:57, with Emily Chong of Chester-le-Street AC second in 19:14 and Katie Francis of Birtley AC third in 20:17.

Stephen Jackson, winner of the 2017 Prince Bishops Durham City 10K, comments: “I’m really happy with that. I let some of the fastest 5K runners get on with their race in the early stages, but felt I was in the lead as I approached half distance. Then I just followed the lead bike and knew that if I ran an even second half, I would win.

“There was a brilliant atmosphere around the course. This is my home city and there were loads of people shouting my name and cheering me on, which was great.”

North East athletics legend and race director Steve Cram comments: “It has been a fantastic evening of running in Durham. We’re really pleased with how the course changes worked out and feedback from many of the 2,500 runners has been extremely positive. There were loads of spectators lining the race routes and they created a vibrant atmosphere throughout the evening. The Services Hill Sprint was a very successful addition to the event and it was great to witness the reception that the police, fire and ambulance service competitors were given as they ran up to Palace Green.

“I believe that the Prince Bishops Durham City Run has now firmly established itself on the North East race calendar. Of course, that’s only possible thanks to the great support of Durham County Council, our excellent sponsors, and our army of brilliant volunteers who make a huge and vital contribution when putting on a big city event like this.”

Cllr Ossie Johnson, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for tourism, culture, leisure and rural issues, adds: “As in its first year, the Durham City Run has been a tremendous success with men and women of all ages and abilities enjoying themselves on what is a truly stunning course.

“The crowds of spectators who turned out gave great support – especially for the runners in the emergency services race. We are very proud to support such a wonderful event.”

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