A sports group is urging people of all ages and abilities to pull on their running shoes for fun and fitness.
County Durham Sport is encouraging everyone to get in touch and find out more about the running opportunities available, especially in East Durham.
The organisation is looking for people to all ages, abilities and fitness levels, including new runners, old timers, amblers, joggers and plodders, to catch the running bug.
They are also looking for running leaders, who don’t need to be good runners, but able to motivate and encourage others.
County Durham Sport is one of 43 County Sport Partnerships nationally, funded by Sport England and other local partners, and is aiming for County Durham to be the most active county in England.
It already has the most number of Park Runs in the North East, with over 1,000 people of all ages taking part every Saturday at 9am.
All you need is a decent pair of trainers and a little bit of encouragement and supportBecks Lippe
There are currently 24 affiliated Run England running groups in most areas of County Durham with over 800 registered members, ranging from beginners to more seasoned runners, including Sedgefield Happy Feet Joggers, Easington Hares and Durham Mums on the Run.
Durham also has 17 Running Clubs with over 1,900 members.
But, County Durham Sport wants to increase the number of running groups, particularly in the Peterlee and East Durham areas.
Of particular interest to total beginners might be the Couch to 5K programmes, aimed at teaching beginners or lapsed runners to run from nothing to 5k over a number of weeks.
Becks Lippe from County Durham Sport, said: “Running can be a great way to help you get more active. Regardless of your age or fitness level, if you’ve never run before or haven’t run for years, running can be very accessible and flexible. It’s not expensive, all you need is a decent pair of trainers and a little bit of encouragement and support.
“You can go out more or less anytime to suit you - either on your own or with friends. With the number of groups, clubs and parkruns in the county it can be a very sociable way of getting more active and a great way to meet new people at the same time as improving your physical health.
“Running regularly can also be a great stress reliever and has even been shown to combat depression.
“If you’d like to set up a new running group, or are interested in becoming a volunteer run leader, then we can offer support to help you do this.”
Anyone who wants more information should visit www.countydurhamsport.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.