A RUNNER has spoken of the moment she heard her ankle crack in a fall during an event on Sunday, sparking a major rescue effort involving the emergency services.

Sarah Norman, from Northallerton, was taking part in a Hardmoors run starting from Chop Gate when she stumbled and fell three miles into the route, breaking her ankle.

"I heard the crack and knew what had happened," said the 43-year-old. "I tried to put some weight on it, but it just wasn't happening."

Darlington and Stockton Times: Injured runner Sarah Norman awaits rescue, wrapped in foil blankets to keep warmInjured runner Sarah Norman awaits rescue, wrapped in foil blankets to keep warm

Other runners and a race marshal came to her aid, wrapping her in foil blankets to keep her warm, and alerting the event's medic, who called the emergency services.

Due to the remote location, across from the Wainstones on the Cleveland Way, Yorkshire Ambulance Service and Cleveland Mountain Rescue Team were called out, despatching two team Land Rovers.

Sarah, a neighbourhood police officer in Bedale, was given pain relief and her ankle was splinted, before mountain rescuers carried her down the hill to a Land Rover, which took her to a waiting ambulance at Clay Bank car park. Medics at James Cook University Hospital confirmed her ankle was broken.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

“I was looked after so well by everyone, from the marshal, to the other runners in the Hardmoors family who all wished me well, to the paramedics and the mountain rescue team,” said Sarah. “My amazing friends also helped so much by retrieving my car and picking me up from hospital.”

A spokesperson for the mountain rescue team paid tribute to the race marshal for her clarity and help on the phone, and added: "The team would like to wish her well in her recovery and to thank everyone at Garfitts Farm for access across their land."

Darlington and Stockton Times:

Sarah has now launched a fundraiser to thank the team, which can be found by clicking here.

Hardmoors Ultra Runners are among the organisations which have contributed towards the cost of replacement waterproof jackets and trousers for the team. It agreed that donations from entry fees since 2021 would help fund the costs. Donations totalling almost £9,000 have been received from local organisations and businesses for the Helly Hansen-branded clothing, including Arnold Clark Community Fund (£1,000), Persimmon Community Champions (£1,000), Two Ridings Community Foundation (£2,000), Sofia Construction Community Fund (£1,000), Services Support (Cleveland) Ltd Veracity Group (£3,000) and Cleveland Cable (£500).