ATHLETES and casual runners alike are being urged to pull on their trainers and don their sweatbands in preparation for this ever-popular Darlington 10k.

Registration is officially open for the 32nd annual road race, which will this year welcome new principal sponsor in SG Petch Darlington.

More than £1,000 worth of prize money is being offered across several categories of runners, including cash for the first six men and women to cross the line, a young athletes prize, veteran prizes and men and women's team prizes.

An extra prize of £150 is also on offer to the overall 10k race winner in the men's and women's category who also secures a new race record.

This year's grand event, which also takes in a family fun run and a junior 3k race, will take place in Darlington town centre on Sunday, August 11.

Phil Haymer, race director of this year's Darlington 10k, said: “We are delighted to host another 10k run and hope to see even more entrants than last year.

“The race has proven itself to be hugely popular."

Registration officially opened for the road race earlier this month with a special event at Joseph Pease Place in the town centre, with sponsors SG Petch showing off an array of vehicles from the car dealership based off McMullen Road.

Darlington Rotary Club will continue its irreplaceable voluntary support of the 10k by assisting the race organisers.

They have been awarded a gold standard for Outstanding Race Management by BARR, the British Association of Road Races, and in return, race officials give a donation to Rotary’s chosen charity.

This year, the Families and Conductive Education children’s charity in Darlington will benefit, as well as the town's St Teresa's Hospice.

Children and young athletes themselves can take part in the fun-filled event, with eight to 14-year-old's welcome to join the Junior 3k road race, with the family fun run is open to participants of all ages.