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Thousands take to the streets of Durham for the city’s first road race event

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The Prince Bishops Durham City Run attracted participants from throughout the North East.  The region’s athletics clubs and start-up running groups were well represented, with many entering enough athletes to earn cash to invest back in the grass roots of the sport through a special payback scheme.  Other runners included Durham County Councillor Rachel Lumsdon, cabinet support member for leisure, libraries and lifelong learning, and Canon Andrew Tremlett, who has just started in his role as Dean of Durham.  After following an undulating course that took in many of Durham’s iconic landmarks on a warm and humid evening, the runners crossed the finishing line on Palace Green in front of Durham Cathedral and on a World Heritage Site.

The first Prince Bishops Durham City Run 10K was won by Nick Swinburn of Morpeth Harriers in 32 minutes and 56 seconds. Tadele Geremew Mulugeta of Eslwick Harriers was second (32:59) and Daniel Jenkin of Durham City Harriers & AC was third (33:38).  Rosie Smith of Durham City Harriers & AC won the ladies’ race in 37:08, with Tracy Millmore of Birtley AC in second (38:11) and Alice Smith of Sunderland Harriers third (40:56).

The winner of the Prince Bishops Durham City Run 5K was Chris Parr of Gateshead Harriers & AC in 15 minutes and 37 seconds.  Robert Eaton of Durham City Harriers & AC was second in 16:43, with Mark Hood of Sunderland Harriers third (17:14).  First lady was Emily Chong of Chester le Street and District in 20:15, with Michelle Thompson of North Shields Poly in second (21:03) and Shona Haston of Teesdale AC third (21:18).

North East athletics legend and race director Steve Cram comments: “We were absolutely delighted with the level of interest in the inaugural Prince Bishops Durham City Run.  A field of 2,000 runners exceeded our expectations for the first year and it was brilliant to see so many people lined up around the course cheering them on. The finish on Palace Green really was really special and I have every confidence that this event can quickly become a firm and popular fixture on the North East running calendar.  Thanks to Durham County Council for having the vision to host the races, to everyone who has sponsored, supported or run in the first event, and to the many volunteers who have made all of this possible.”
Cllr Maria Plews, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for leisure, libraries and lifelong learning, adds: “To see so many people taking on the challenge and running the historic streets of our great city was fantastic.  We know that jogging and running are two of the most effective exercises you can do to both start and stay active, and it was particularly pleasing to see so many first time runners, and people who are improving their health and happiness through exercise, strapping on their trainers and taking part.” “On a beautiful summer’s evening, this was a wonderful occasion for participants and spectators alike.”

The Prince Bishops Durham City Run was sponsored by Prince Bishops Shopping Centre and the Northern Echo.  Other partners of the event included Durham University, Ramside Hall, and Unilite. Find out more about the event at www.durhamcityrun.com or by following @durhamcityrun on Twitter.

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