YOUNG athletes raced the clock and their bubble classmates as an historic run brought a glimpse of normality to their school lives.

The 129th Barnard Run was staged in the grounds of Barnard Castle School, with races organised in year group bubbles that followed social distancing guidelines.

Senior school students tackled the gruelling three or four-mile routes, while pupils from Barnard Castle Preparatory School joined in the fun on a course for the youngest and shortened cross-country route for the more experienced.

In the boys’ race Year 11’s Freddie Langton and Johan Eckhardt finished 1st and 3rd in the Lloyd Evan’s Cup, leaving Tom Smith in second place as the only Sixth Form representative on the podium.

In the girls’ race Sophia Baker and Antonia Koy finished 1st and 3rd, respectively, in the Turnbull Shield, leaving Connie Gill the winner of the Sixth Form race and 2nd place overall.

The Junior boys’ event was won by Joshua Dickson and junior girls by Savannah Tarn. Harry Hulley took the intermediate boys’ title and Isabelle Brown the intermediate girls’ race.

Headmaster Tony Jackson said: “While the cloud that is COVID has been ever-present this term, there has been an incredibly thick silver lining to being back at school. The stoic can do attitude among our school community has been remarkable, with a universal understanding that everyone is making the best of the situation.

“Staging the Barnard Run in a socially distanced and COVID-secure manner was a wonderful reminder of what makes Barney special, with house and personal pride at stake and children being children.”

Race organiser Charles Alderson added: “I think the historic 129th Barnard Run and the qualifying Barney Bash have brought out the school’s true spirit. Each race held surprises and everyone was on tenterhooks for the senior competition with Year 11s and Sixth Form running in separate race bubbles.”

Proceeds from the qualifying races – the Barney Bash – and the Barnard Run, will be donated to the Kipsaina Education and Environment Partnership (KEEP) and the Kenya clean water initiative Dig Deep.