A CHILDREN’S author will be combining his love of running and the nastier side of history during a festival set to take place next month.

Horrible Histories author Terry Deary, who is also a keen member of Derwentside Athletics Club, will be leading a history run during the first Durham City Run Festival, which takes place from July 25-27.

He said: "The idea is it is a 5k but we stop every 500m and I tell a story about Durham. Most of it is horrible history, as you can imagine.

"It's very interesting because about 20 years ago I wrote a book called Deadly Durham so I've gone back to that."

He added: "I hope it will be bring families along who will want to hear the sort of stories I tell. When you do the 5k and 10k it's all adults so it would be lovely to get young people involved, and people who wouldn't usually run."

His tales will include ones about John Duck, known as Durham's Dick Whittington, Durham jail, and Victorian murderess Mary Ann Cotton.

He will lead a run at 4pm on Friday and 12.30pm on Saturday.

It is one of several themed runs taking place during the festival, which are free and aimed at increasing participation.

The Northern Echo:

Durham Mums on the Run will be leading a buggy run at 10.30am on Friday while Sedgefield ploggers – a group which combines jogging with picking up litter – will be bringing the concept to the city for an event at 2pm on Saturday.

Mum-of-three Francesca Curry, from Durham, who is part of Mums on the Run, has a double buggy so she can go running with four-year-old Imogen and two-year-old Cameron in tow.

She said: "It's hard work but it's so good for fitness.

"It's great when the babies need a nap and it gets you out of the house."

Chris Lines, who set up the Sedgefield Ploggers in 2018 after hearing about the concept in Sweden, said: "It's very simple. Everyone gets a glove and a bag and we go at a very gentle pace so its accessible for all ages.

"It's quite good fun, We offered to organise an event for the festival and maybe we'll inspire a group in Durham.

"It's a beautiful city and it's looked after well but even in this historic location there's litter around."

The festival also features a 5k and 10k and a family run led by marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe.

All of the themed runs start at the Radisson Blu, in Frankland Lane. Anyone who would like to attend is asked to email info@eventsofthenorth.com.