AROUND 250 runners will take part in a half marathon along a reborn stretch of North East coastline.
The first National Trust Durham Coast Half Marathon starts at 10am on Sunday June 9.
From the start line at Nose’s Point, Seaham, the 13.1-mile route takes in a challenging variety of terrain along the Durham Heritage Coast.
Sticking largely to the cliff tops, the course briefly diverts inland at Hawthorn Dene before continuing south towards the finish at Crimdon Dene.
Marshals and water stations at regular intervals will help keep runners on track and well hydrated.
Event organiser, National Trust ranger Wayne Appleton, said: “It’s great to be involved in such an exciting new event, and we are proud of what we’ve achieved in setting it up.“
The venture has been backed by partner organisations the Durham Heritage Coast, Natural England, Durham Wildlife Trust, runbritain.com, Northumbrian Water and A1 Multisport.
“We are really looking forward to the big day. We’re hoping it will become a regular date in the local running calendar, attracting competitors from far and wide to the Durham Coast,” said Wayne.
Entry to the event has sold out, but members of the public are invited to come along and offer their support by cheering the runners on.
The coastline was marred for decades by coal dumping from coastal collieries, which deterred development. But after the pits closed, the £10m Turning the Tide project in the 1990s began the big clean up, which has continued.
Now stretches are designated as heritage coastline and are also managed by the National Trust.
The race is seen as the latest step in the rehabilitation of the County Durham coast.
As well as at the start and finish lines, the best views of the course are likely to be from Cotsford Field near Lime Kiln Gill car park in Horden, Hawthorn Dene, Castle Eden Dene mouth plus footpaths near Easington Colliery, Blackhall Colliery and Blackhall Rocks.
Find out more information here: http://www.durhamcoasthalfmarathon.co.uk/