ORGANISERS behind an annual road race are hoping this year's event will be bigger and better.

The Newton Aycliffe annual 10k road race will take place on Sunday, June 17, with £1,000 worth of prizes to be won.

Almost 250 runners took part in last year's event, which was organised by Newton Aycliffe Athletic Club and sponsored by 3M.

As well as awards for the first male and female runners across the finishing line, the race also has a number of individual prizes and veterans' prizes.

The event has become a firm fixture on the Aycliffe calendar since it was first staged in 1998 as an incentive for local people to take up exercise.

Race co-ordinator Mick Beadle said: "While we try to attract the north's top-class road runners, equally important are members of the local community who are attempting to achieve personal bests or simply to complete the course.

"Everyone is encouraged to take part and this is an ideal time to enter so they have time to get some training in. There is also a popular 3k fun run before the main race for those less ambitious."

Alan Kellett, 3M project manager, said: "The organisers put on a great event each year and we are hoping a good number of 3M employees will be among the runners again this time."

For an entry form, send an SAE to Colin Gibson, 12 Ainsty Hunt, Newton Aycliffe, DL5 7PH.

For information and advice, telephone Mr Beadle on 07971-849866.