Launch of new coast contest

SPECTACULAR SCENERY: Niall Benson enjoying the Durham Heritage Coast
SPECTACULAR SCENERY: Niall Benson enjoying the Durham Heritage Coast

HUNDREDS of runners will take their starting orders when a new event along the coast is launched in the summer.

The outstanding Durham Heritage Coast is to become a hive of fitness activity when it is the setting for its first-ever half-marathon.

Up to 300 runners will descend on the spectacular cliff-tops of the coastline, in a 13.1-mile run from Nose’s Point in Seaham, through Hawthorn Dene and Castle Eden Denemouth to the tern colony hut at Crimdon Dene.

The event, organised by the National Trust in conjunction with the Durham Heritage Coast Partnership, Durham County Council and Natural England, will take place at 10am on Sunday, June 9.

Wayne Appleton, a National Trust ranger, said: “Myself and my line manager Gareth Wilson do a lot of running and we decided we’ve got the perfect place to hold a half-marathon.

“We are going to try to keep it quite small, with 250 runners this first year, to see what works well and what doesn’t, though we could extend it to 300 if we get the interest.”

Around 40 people have already signed up for the event, with prizes available.

Durham Heritage Coast officer Niall Benson said: “Putting together a half marathon along the Durham Coast is a brilliant idea. We have had 10km events in the past and racers were really surprised by just how tough a race it was. And how spectacular the scenery!”

Entry is £14 for affiated runners and £16 for non-affiliates. Visit for more information.