An annual relay event attracted a large field of runners to County Durham this week.  The Neptune Relays, organised by Sedgefield Harriers, were held in Hardwick Park on Wednesday 26 April and 118 teams lined up from throughout the region, competing for trophies and the traditional prizes of fruit.  The main event was preceded by a junior handicap race of young runners aged 5-11.

In the men’s event, Durham City Harriers retained their title, followed by Middlesbrough & Cleveland and Birtley AC.  In the women’s race, Crook & District Athletic Club also won for a second successive year, with Birtley AC in second and Elvet Striders third.  Billingham Marsh House Harriers won the men’s veteran 50 race and Sedgefield Harriers triumphed in the women’s veteran 45 category.  Durham City Harriers won the junior boys title and Sedgefield Harriers won the junior girls race.  The non-club category saw a win for ‘Coxhoe Striders’.  

Sedgefield Harriers first hosted the Neptune Relays in 2008, when 13 teams competed.  The event grew steadily for the next few years, but has enjoyed a big surge in participation since 2012, with clubs from all over the North East and North Yorkshire sending teams to Hardwick Park.  In addition, the event attracts a lot of teams from community running groups, such as those supported by Run England, along with runners who are not members of any clubs.

Event director Ean Parsons comments:

“The tenth running of the Neptune Relays was a big success, with even more teams than in 2016.  As always, there was keen competition at the front of the field and some impressive running on show by club athletes from around the North East.  It was also great to see so many runners of all ages and abilities taking part in what we have always promoted as a welcoming and inclusive event.  Once again, we are very grateful to Hardwick Park for allowing us to host the relays in such a beautiful setting, and to the many volunteers from Sedgefield Harriers and the wider North East athletics community who make grass roots races like this possible.”

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