RESIDENTS of a village on the edge of the North York Moors National Park have expressed concerns over a fell running race set to take place on Sunday.

But organisers have sought to address concerns and put minds at rest as they outline the safeguards they have put in place for the event.

Swainby, near Stokesley, is set to host the event organised by Moors and Dales Trial Races, and between 250 and 300 runners are expected to take part.

One resident said the village had recently mourned the deaths of two well-known figures, and many were feeling particularly anxious at the prospect of hundreds of runners coming into the village.

She said: "Most villagers are horrified. We are a tiny village and already have lots of daytrippers and hikers coming now the lockdown is lifting.

"There is a lot of concern, especially after the recent Covid deaths of members of our communities, and that is still very raw.

"I think the event should have been organised for later in the year when we can be sure it is safe."

Organisers Dave and Carol Murray said they have gone to great lengths to ensure the event will be Covid-safe.

Mr Murray said: "We are aware there have been recent deaths in the community and are aware of the considerable anxiety in the community in coming out of lockdown and we are very sympathetic to that.

"In terms of the race, although our capacity is for 300, we think it will be around 20 per cent less than that.

"We have very rigorous Covid measures in place that have been scrutinised by Hambleton District Council and the police, and have followed all Government guidance – even going further than what the Government recommends."

He said racers are only allowed to park in the grounds of a nearby farm, and anyone parking in the village will be disqualified, and that all runners must wait in their cars until their allocated registration time, ahead of the race starting in separate groups of six with staggered time periods.

He said: "Racers will be asked to leave the village immediately after completing the race, and there will be no food on sale. We want both racers and residents to feel safe.

"If any residents want to get in touch then we would be happy to hear from them, via"