With a full house for the Events of the North Durham City Run last night the historic narrow streets of Durham were flooded with a mass of runners.
The field was so big that the tail enders trailed back from the start in the Market Square to the finish at Palace Green in front of the Cathedral. It took eight and half minutes for the back markers to go over the start line.
In what were challenging races for the competitors, with cobbled streets to negotiate and a mountain of a climb to the finish at the World Heritage site, times overall were on the slow side.
Nearly 2500 runners started together for the 5k and 10k events and it was fell running international Nick Swinburn who was the first to take the plaudits.
The winner of the inaugural 10k last year, this time the Morpeth Harrier favoured the 5k and won again in 15.49 – 12 seconds outside Chris Parr’s course record.
In second place was Jarrow and Hebburn runner George Lowry who ran well to finish as runner-up (15.59) in what was a competitive field at the front of the race.
Durham City Harrier Dan Jenkin took third (16.04), Carl Smith was fourth (16.10) and Robert Eaton ended sixth (16.46) to make it two in the first six for Durham.
The women’s winner was Elswick Harrier schoolgirl Robyn Bennett (18.57), beating last year’s winner, 13-year-old Emily Chong, of Chester-le Street, who recorded 19.14. Kate Francis of Birtley was third (20.17).
Stephen Jackson of Durham Club Elvet Striders gave supporters something to shout about with a clear win in the 10k (34.08), in front of another local man Durham City Harrier Cameron Allan (36.33). Tyne Bridge Harrier Dominic Munnelly completed the first three in (36.48).
Peter Setterfield, of Washington Running Club, was 19th (40.05) and Sunderland Harrier Martin Blenkinsopp finished 20th (40.07).
The women’s winner was, Tracy Millmore of Birtley AC, who improved on her second place of last year to win in 37.42. Catherine Hawco of Jesmond Joggers was second (41.42) and Jemma Bell was third (43.08). Linda Mudford of Sunderland Harriers took 14th spot in 47.26.