RUNNERS descended on a County Durham park to take part in a town club's biggest event on its sporting calendar.

The annual Sedgefield Serpentine returned to Hardwick Park on Sunday when nearly 200 running enthusiasts took on a trail across countryside between the town and Bishop Middleham.

Organised by Sedgefield Harriers, the race started and finished at Sedgefield Cricket Club and was hailed a success by club chair Phil Houghton.

He said: "Almost 200 runners managed to navigate the, at times difficult, course and much cake and merriment was had."

Among the runners were a group from Sedgefield's twin town of Hamminkeln, in Germany.

"We had the pleasure of welcoming a group of runners from the sports club of our twin town Hamminkeln," added Mr Houghton. They all enjoyed their run, cheered on by the rest of our 16 visitors from Germany, and we certainly enjoyed hosting them."

The trip follows just one month after runners from Sedgefield travelled abroad to take part in the Hamminkeln Citylauf races.

Visitor Hermann Terhorst, of Hamminkelner SV, said: “We were thrilled by the wonderful atmosphere during the event and are very grateful to Sedgefield Harriers for their great hospitality during our visit."