A NEW running challenge is hoped to get pulses racing.

Durham County Council has launched 3-2-1 Run at Hardwick Park, near Sedgefield, in a bid to persuade more people to take up running.

Today (Monday, August 18) three signposted running routes of three miles, two miles and one mile in length were introduced to the popular park.

The routes are designed to enable anyone to have a go at running, from beginners to more experienced runners, with the different routes offering an opportunity for people to build up their distance or work at improving their time.

It follows a successful 1-2-3 Run project at Riverside Park in Chester-le-Street last September.

Julie Lavery, physical activity development officer at Durham County Council, said: “The launch of the 3-2-1 routes are great news for people in County Durham, including those who are already experienced runners and those who fancy giving it a try.

“The county already has a strong number of running groups and athletics clubs and the addition of these running routes give yet another opportunity for people to put on their trainers and get out there.”

The runs are unsupervised and people can take part any time during the park’s opening hours, between 7am and 9pm daily.

Along with the signposts, a map of the three runs can also be viewed at the Hardwick Park visitor centre, which is open from 11am to 4pm.

For more information, contact 03000 266 555.