INDIFFERENT weather conditions – including a perfectly-timed shower as the bulk of the runners came home – served only to bolster the spirits of participants in the Darlington 10k.

The annual Darlington 10k was fully-subscribed and attracted more than 1,700 runners of all abilities - from Paralympic medallists to those taking their first steps in a race, to Commonwealth Games athletes and everyone in between.

Still fresh from her fourth-placed finish in the 10,000m at Glasgow 2014, Shildon runner Kate Avery set a new ladies' course record of 33.05.

The 22-year-old finished sixth overall. The men's race winner was Teesside-based Ethiopian Wondiye Fikre Indelbu, with a time of 30.46.

Indelbu, who lost an eye and the lower part of his right arm in a hand-grenade attack when he was a child, retained his Darlington 10k title from last year.

It was another honour to add to his growing collection, which includes silver in the 1,500m T46 category at the 2012 London Paralympics.

Running for the Teesside branch of the MS Society, Indelbu beat New Marske veteran James Bulman into second place, while Tom Bean finished third.

Rosie Smith, who came 21st overall, was the second-fastest woman with a time of 34.48.

Michael Fawcett, from Billingham, ran in memory of his brother, Stephen, who died in a car accident last August.

Despite "a few niggles", Mr Fawcett clocked a time of 43.19 as he continues on his personal challenge to run 49 events in memory of his brother, who was that age when he died.

Adding to the colour of the event was engaged couple Richard Chambers and Helen Sanderson, from Darlington.

The pair took time out from planning their wedding to take part in the run - dressed as Superman and fellow superhero, The Flash.

Mr Chambers, 29, explained: "I have done this race previously and it's always a good day out, but I always felt sorry for some of the kids who get dragged along to watch, especially in the rain.

"So we thought we'd dress as superheroes to make some children's day, give them something to cheer and it worked."

Mr Chambers recently took part in an Iron Man competition – which comprises a 2.4-mile swim and 112-mile cycle, followed by a marathon – raising funds for the Christie Hospital, in Manchester, in memory of his late father.


Leading ladies

1. Kate AVERY, 33.05
2. Rosie SMITH, 34.48
3. Danielle HODGKINSON, 35.00
4. Josephine STONE, 35.36
5. Sharon BARLOW, 36.18
6. Tori GREEN, 37.09
7. Alison DARGIE, 37.22
8. Joanne LEE, 38.45
9. Dawn RICHARDSON, 38.51

Top ten men

1. Wondiye Fikre INDELBU, 30.46
2. James BULMAN, 32.34
3. Tom BEAN, 32.51
4. Kevin JEFFRESS, 32.56
5. Gary DUNN, 33.01
6. Shaun BROWN, 33.35
7. Tristan LEAROYD, 33.48
8. Michael JOYEUX, 33.51
9. John CLIFFORD, 33.55
10. Dominic MUNNELLY, 34.02