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Thousands take on the heat and hills in the 2019 Prince Bishops Durham City Run 10k and 5k races

Published July 26, 2019 10.20am

Thousands of runners have taken to the streets of Durham on the hottest day of the year, cheered on by big crowds of spectators.

Durham City Run 2019 finish

Our chairman Cllr Katie Corrigan (left) and Cllr Allen welcome 10k winner Grant Johnson over the finish line

In soaring temperatures, a field of around 3,000 tackled the 2019 Prince Bishops Durham City Run 10k and 5k races, completing challenging courses around the city centre, before finishing on Palace Green, in front of Durham Cathedral and Castle.  Sponsored by Prince Bishops Shopping Centre and organised by Events of the North in partnership with us, the two races kicked off the first ever Durham City Run Festival, which is taking over Durham from now until Saturday, with three days of running themed events for the whole family. 

Following a burst water main, we had to implement temporary road diversions in the centre of Durham, leading to changes to the routes and start times.  As a result, both the 10k and 5k started together on Claypath - the added challenges of one mass start were dealt with successfully by both athletes and officials.  The race organisers also increased supplies of water along the course, and a team from County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service was on site with a 'water curtain' to cool down runners.

The Prince Bishops Durham City Run 10k and 5k attracted runners of all ages and ability from throughout the region, including many who took part to raise money for good causes, such as official charity partner the If U Care Share Foundation.  Marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe ran the 5k with her daughter Isla, while Ben Smith, who ran 401 marathons in 401 days to support anti-bullying charities, ran the 10k, as did local runner Scott Baker, completing his 967th 10k on his way to running 1,000 in 1,000 days.  Meanwhile, North East marathon star Aly Dixon ran 15 miles from Sunderland to tackle the 10k as part of her preparation to represent Great Britain in the 50k World Championships on 1 September.

The winner of the 2019 Prince Bishops Durham City Run 10k was Grant Johnson of Salford Harriers in 33 minutes and 38 seconds.  Just behind him was 2018 winner Stephen Jackson of Elvet Striders in 33:41, with Jordan Bell of Blackhill Bounders third in 34:37.  Emily Kearney of Wirral AC won the ladies' race in 36:49, with Aly Dixon of Sunderland Strollers second in 38:26 and 2018 winner Tracy Millmore third in 39:21. 

Find out more about the event at the Durham City Run website or by following @durhamcityrun on Twitter.

The winner of the 2019 Prince Bishops Durham City Run 5k was Sparrow Morley of Tyne Bridge Harriers in 16:40.  Craig Gunn of Sunderland Harriers was second in 16:53 and Joshua Wraith of Durham City Harriers was third in 17:32.  First lady was Katie Francis of Birtley AC in 19:04, with Charlotte Dillon of Durham City Harriers second in 19:33 and Emily Chong of Chester-le-Street AC third in 19:48.

North East athletics legend and race director Steve Cram comments: "Once again, the Prince Bishops Durham City Runs have been excellent events.  Both races sold out and the crowds came out in force to cheer on our runners.  Circumstances beyond our control led to the route alterations and I have to pay tribute to our race team and Durham County Council, who pulled out all of the stops to put on such a great event.  We're grateful for the understanding of our runners who adapted to the changes brilliantly and as always it was a fantastic sight to see them streaming across the finishing line in front of Durham Cathedral."

Cllr Joy Allen, our Cabinet member for transformation, culture and tourism, adds: "We are delighted at how the 10k and 5k went, providing as they did the perfect start to our first Durham City Run Festival.  It was great to see so many people of all ages and abilities enjoying themselves during the two runs even in the very warm weather. Events like this are not only a fun way of exercising but also a great way for us to show off our beautiful city to a wider audience.  We're really looking forward to the rest of the festival - part of our year of culture #Durham19, especially the world's first ever staging of Paula Radcliffe's Families on Track event on Saturday."

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