DARLINGTON'S South Park was the location for a new race hosted by Darlington Harriers and dreamt up by Trevor McDermott, on Sunday, January 23.

The Marathon Paarlauf (pair run) is where teams of two complete 13 one-mile loops in a relay style race before the pair complete the 0.2 mile victory lap together. More than 50 teams completed the race, with a combination of female, male and mixed teams.

Paul Ellis and Paul Simpson of Richmond and Zetland Harriers were the sixth team to finish the race in a combined time of 2hrs 40mins, and the first team with a combined age of more than 100. Harriers Nicola Simpson and Kimberley Reeve were the 18th team overall and the first women's team with a combined time of 3hrs 04mins 11secs.

The arrival of Storm Malik on Saturday, January 29 provided extreme conditions for the athletes taking part in the Northern Cross Country Championships in Pontefract. Rhys Robinson finished 66th in 11:59, in the under 15 boys and Ollie Middleton finished 98th in 16:53, Oliver Rogerson 113th in 17:48. In the under 17 boys, Thomas O'Mahoney finished 25th in 22:25, Joseph Reeve 35th in 22:45 and Joshua Hammett 54th in 23:19. Shannon Robinson finished 35th in the under 17 women's race in a time of 20:04. In the junior men's race, Charlie Stephenson finished 18th in 30:41.

In the recent parkruns, the Harriers were spread far and wide on January 22. At Northallerton, Jonathan Gray with his dog Pippa, finished first overall in 18:44, Paul Simpson eight in 20:28 and Nicola Simpson 16th in 22:28.

There were plenty of PBs at Albert parkrun in Middlesbrough, where Rob Scott had an amazing run to finish first overall in 15:23 (PB). Knocking 29 seconds off his previous personal best, Rob made it into the men's top tentimes in the UK. Carl Jones was third in 15:48 (PB), Steve Middleton fifth in 16:50(PB), Ollie Middleton 13th in 19:05 and Ellie Robertson 88th in 24:47.

At picturesque Fountains Abbey, Rachel Ross Russell finished 27th overall and first in age category in 20:26. Over at Millfield parkrun in Easingwold, Matilda Ellis had a strong run to finish 25th overall and first in 22:07. The following day at Northallerton junior parkrun, Kiki Fletcher had a tremendous run to finish fifth overall, first female in 9:18 (PB).

High winds on Saturday, January 29, certainly didn't put the runners off. At Northallerton Steve Middleton finished first overall in 19:26, Paul Ellis finished fourth in 20:28, Elaine Watters 18th in 24:58, Pete Richardson 29th in 27:30, Fiona Crisp 88th in 35:21 and Emily Crisp 89th in 35:23. Darlington parkrun was back after a break of several weeks due to the weather and Mark Forrest finished third overall in 17:59, Rebecca Smith 36th in 21:28, Paul Wright 58th in 23:04, Diane Adkins 208th in 30:41 and Ian Hepworth 237th in 31:49. At Millfield parkrun Paul Simpson finished third in 20:11, Nicola Simpson 12th in 21:42 and Kimberley Reeve 18th in 23:02. The next day at Northallerton junior parkrun, Kiki Fletcher finished first overall and managed to gain another personal best time of 9:13.

John Gray took part in the Darlington Winter Trail Series on Sunday, January 30 at West Park and finished third overall in 19:36.

Further information on the club and training nights can be found on the website www.richmondzetlandharriers.co.uk