Alnwick set to welcome races

HUNDREDS of athletes from running clubs across the region are set to descend on Alnwick next month to battle it out in a competitive race fixture.

Alnwick Harriers have announced that the town’s Pastures will stage a North East Harrier League event on Saturday, March 3, following preparation and consultation with Northumberland Estates.

The League series comprises six meets at different venues throughout the region and the Alnwick event, in the shadow of the castle, will see both junior and senior races of various age categories.

The main course, incorporating grassland over undulating terrain, will comprise a 1.9-mile lap run three times by senior men, twice by senior females and once by juniors, while there will also be a shorter route for U11s designed specially to encourage younger athletes.

Alnwick Harriers’ secretary Jim Lillico said: “Discussions have gone on for a few years now, however once permission was approved a new route had to be found, race licences had to be sought, first aid arranged, sanitary appliances ordered and parking issues addressed.

The use of Bailiffgate school facilities has been arranged and even tenants have been asked to allow access and ensure their livestock is safe.

“Voluntary membership help has been used to configure and prepare the course prior to the event and many marshals will be stationed on the day at various places along the route to guide the runners who will arrive at Alnwick to represent their own North East club.

“Hopefully, the weather will be kind, but on a cross-country, bad weather only adds to the atmosphere.”

The meet is sponsored by Start Fitness and it is hoped it will become an annual event. The first junior race will be at 12.15pm, senior males will start at 1.15pm, followed by senior females at about 2.30pm.