THE steep cobbles and warm night did nothing to put off thousands of runners as they took part in a race around one of the North-East’s historic city centres.

Around 2,000 people took part in the first ever Prince Bishops Durham City Run, which took place on Wednesday night.

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Chris Parr, winner of the men's 5k in the inaugural Durham City Run. Picture: TOM BANKS

Crowds lined the streets to cheer on the competitors along as they sweated their way through Durham’s streets.

Two races took place, with runners choosing between 5k and 10k routes.

The race was started by Lisa Edwards, 39, who is part of Durham Mums on the Run, after she won a competition organised by Prince Bishops Shopping Centre.

The mother-of-three was unable to take part after picking up an injury earlier in the year, which landed her in hospital following complications.

Both races started in Saddler Street, with runners then going on a looping course through the city centre, finishing on Palace Green.

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Runners had to negotiate the city’s cobbled streets, river banks and hills before the final hurdle of trying to sprint uphill towards Durham Cathedral.

The thunder and lightning which hit the city earlier in the day stayed away, though a few drops of rain fell as runners were lining up on the start.

By the time most of the runners reached the final stretches the sun was shining on Palace Green, where they were treated to iced water as well as finisher’s medals and T-shirts.

The first home was Chris Parr, from Gateshead Harriers, who won the 5k race in a time of 15 minutes and 36 seconds. Robert Eaton, of Durham City Harriers, and Mark Hood, of Sunderland Harriers were second and third.

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Meanwhile, the women’s 5k race was won by 12-year-old Emily Chong, from Chester-le-Street Athletics Club, who ran the course in a time of 20.13. Second was Michelle Thompson, of North Shields Polytechnic Athletics Club and third was Shona Haston, from Teesdale Athletics Club.

The fastest of the 10k runners was Nick Swinburn, from Morpeth Harriers, in a time of 32.55.

He was followed by Tadele Geremew Mulugeta, of Elvet Harriers, and Dan Jenkin, of Durham City Harriers.

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The fastest woman was Rosie Smith, from Durham Athletics Club, who was tenth overall in the 10k in a time of 37.06. Second was Tracy Millmore, from Birtley Athletics Club and third was Alice Smith, from Sunderland Harriers.

The prizes were awarded by Durham County Councillors Maria Plews and Mike Dixon.

The event was a Durham County Council initiative, organised by Events of the North.