A HUSBAND-and-wife team are hoping to get the region running by launching a series of trail races.

Carol and Dave Murray, who have represented Great Britain in their age group in duathlon and triathlon championships, have set up MaD - Moors and Dales - Races.

Their first event is the Falls and Castle trail race at Bolton Castle, near Leyburn, on September 23, where up to 250 participants have the choice of a seven or 18-mile route.

A second race – the Swainby Sweep - is planned for April next year at Swainby, near Northallerton.

“We have always really enjoyed the outdoor life and we have biked, walked and run on moors and dales since we moved to the area 21 years ago,” said Mrs Murray, a former GP, who lives near Northallerton.

“We’re hoping to attract a range of people. As well as catering for athletes aiming to get a personal best, we’d also like to attract runners who are less confident, and maybe haven’t done much trail running, and who, with a little bit of friendly encouragement, might grow their confidence.”

“We hope our races are going to highlight how fantastic the moors and dales in Yorkshire are and we’d like to attract some runners from outside the area,” added Mrs Murray, 50.

“We love the local countryside and we want to share it with people by encouraging them to get out there. We’re especially grateful to landowners for their permission to cross their land.”

The couple, who already have sponsorship from sports therapist Ed Pratt, who has practices in Northallerton, Bedale, Thirsk and Yarm, and Inspired Chocolate of Leyburn, are appealing to North East businesses for more support.

“We’d like help with everything, from publicity costs to prizes,” said Mrs Murray.

Dr Murray, 49, an anaesthetist at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, added: “We’d also like to hear from anyone interested in volunteering on the day, whether they’d like to help with registering the runners, staffing the feed stations, marshalling along the route or timing them at the finish line.”

A donation from events will be made to the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team.

To enter a race, volunteer or offer sponsorship, go to madraces.co.uk