Series starts with Cragside run

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THE Cragside estate will this weekend form the backdrop for the first of a series of 10k runs taking place across the county.

More than 200 competitors will line-up on Saturday for the opening contest in Run Northumberland’s 2012 10k series.

Four 10k races taking in some of Northumberland’s most iconic and historic attractions are set to be held between now and mid-October.

Among the competitors expected to take part is Morpeth Harriers’ Michael Morris, who three weeks ago took top spot in the Run Northumberland Half Marathon held at Wallington.

Cragside will be followed by Bamburgh on June 17, a return to Wallington on September 9 and newcomer Matfen in the Tyne Valley on October 14.

It puts organiser Team Decathlon on track to reach its target of 2012 competitors for 2012 over all five races in honour of this year’s London Olympics.

The Cragside 10k last year marked a welcome return for running events to the 1,000 acre estate with its formal garden, woods and open moorland.

It starts at 9.30am and competitors will run a lap and a bit of the carriage track, which will be closed to visitors’ vehicles for the duration.