A FAST growing sporting event featuring thousands of runners is being staged in the North-East tonight.

Prince Bishops Durham City Run, now in its third year, promises to be bigger than ever, with record fields in the 10k and 5k races.

Last year, both races sold out so organisers worked with Durham County Council to expand the event.

This evening, the 10k and 5k races will have different start locations, with runners in the longer event setting off from Millennium Square for the first time.

Both races will finish on Palace Green at the Durham Cathedral and Castle World Heritage Site.

Event founder Steve Cram said: “Everything is shaping up for a fantastic evening of running in a beautiful city.

“The weather forecast is looking good and we’re expecting a big turnout of spectators to cheer on our runners and enjoy the many attractions of the city centre.

“I urge all of our runners to get to the right starting position for their race in good time.

“Both events will start promptly and it would be a real shame for anyone to miss out on the brilliant experience of the Prince Bishops Durham City Run.”

The evening starts with the Services Hill Sprint Relay at 7pm, which will see teams from the emergency services race each other from Millennium Square to Palace Green.

The 5k will start at 7.15pm, with the 10k runners setting off at 7.25pm.

The event’s official charity partner is the If U Care Share Foundation, a County Durham-based suicide prevention charity.

Ben Smith, who ran 401 marathons in 401 days, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for anti-bullying charities, is also taking part.

Durham County Councillor Ossie Johnson said: “This event is not only a great way to keep fit but also an opportunity for people to see what a beautiful city Durham is and everything it has to offer.

“It is fantastic to see a record number of runners taking part and we hope they will all be inspired to return to Durham in the future.”

Road closures will be in place from 5pm until around 9.30pm.

A police spokeswoman said: “Our officers will be on duty in and around the city and wish everyone who is taking part in the event the very best of luck.”