A RUNNING club has marked formal recognition of its development with a change of name.

Swaledale Road Runners has become Swaledale Runners - a name that the clubs says reflects the different terrains members run over.

The club, which was formed in 1986 and now has about 130 runners across two branches in Richmond and Northallerton, has recently been awarded England Athletics accredited club status.

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To gain accreditation, the club has worked through a two to three year development plan.

Members went on training course, while welfare and disability officers were appointed.

Codes of practice and emergency procedures were also formalised.

Liz Sowter, communications officer for the club, said: "It is normal for clubs dealing with young people to achieve England Athletics accredited status, but quite rare among clubs such as ours that deal only with adults.

"At the same time we are celebrating the club’s name change from Swaledale Road Runners to Swaledale Runners.

"We never have been a club that has concentrated solely on road running and some say that the original reference was to the cartoon character the Road Runner.

"Our logo is of course the running sheep."

She added: "The change of name is designed to show the community and runners everywhere that we encourage running in all its forms.

"Some people join just to improve their level of fitness, others to compete locally and further afield. Far from being just a social club we are performing well in the Harrogate and District Summer Race League and we have members who are regular prize winners over distances from 5K to the marathon and beyond."

For more details on the club, visit swaledalerunners.co.uk