Nearly 500 runners descended on a country park in County Durham for the popular Neptune Relays last Wednesday (25 April). Organised by Sedgefield Harriers, the event saw 119 teams of four from throughout the North East compete for trophies and the traditional prizes of fruit.
First hosted by Sedgefield Harriers in 2008 with 13 teams taking part, the Neptune Relays has grown steadily over the years, but enjoyed a surge in participation in 2012 when clubs from across the North East and North Yorkshire made their way to Hardwick Park.
Split into four stages of 1.7 miles, the course makes a figure of eight route around the Serpentine Lake. The race also has some excellent vantage points for spectators, especially at the start and finish area in ‘temple field.’
At the sharp end of the action, Durham City Harriers claimed victory for the third consecutive year, ahead of Middlesbrough & Cleveland and Durham City Harriers B team. Crook AC claimed first place in the women’s race, with Durham City Harriers second and Elvet Striders third. Billingham Marsh House Harriers won their third successive men’s veteran 50 race and Elvet Striders were victorious in the women’s veteran 45 category.
Event director Ean Parsons comments: “It’s amazing to consider how well-established the Neptune Relays are today. That’s down to a lot of hard work by a lot of people, but primarily thanks to the event capturing the imagination of runners in the region, who support it in such good numbers.
“As ever, there was some very strong competition, but above all, our relays offer an opportunity for all runners to participate in a race in a beautiful venue, and which is welcoming and suitable for every ability.”