Organisers of this year's Redcar Half Marathon are encouraging runners to step up their training in readiness for the run.

This year's event was officially launched by first-time sponsors Somerfield Supermarket, in West Dyke Road, Redcar.

Store staff are already in training for the run, in March, which is part of the North-East Championships and is expected to attract more than 1,000 people.

Organised by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council's events team, the half marathon is on a circular route of flat roads, cycleways and pavements. It takes place on Sunday, March 9, starting at 10.30am.

Event organiser, Joanne Hodgson, said: "We are delighted to welcome Somerfield as our new sponsors and hope the event itself can continue to grow in popularity.

"There will be hundreds of people taking part for a variety of reasons - running for good causes or just because of the challenge."

There is a £1,500 prize fund, with a T-shirt and medal for all runners taking part.

The closing date for postal entries is Friday, February 28, and participants must be aged over 18 on the day of the race.

Fees are £10.50 for club members, and £11.50 for unattached.

For more information call (01642) 444373.