HUNDREDS of young athletes raised thousands of pounds for the homeless as they took to the cross country course in an annual run which has stood the test of time.
Clear blue skies provided the perfect backdrop as Barnard Castle School staged its 127th run, this year in aid of the charity for homeless people Centrepoint.
Muddy conditions left by heavy rain did little to deter the runners, some of who broke course records.
Pupils from Barnard Castle Preparatory School again joined in the spirit of the Barnard Run with a fun course for the youngest and shortened cross country route around the school grounds for the more experienced.
Senior school students tackled the gruelling three or four mile routes which took them off site and along the banks of the River Tees.
In the run up to the event all pupils took part in a series of Barney Bash qualifiers, donating to charity along the way, with the fastest competitors vying for honours in the official Barnard Run.
This year Centrepoint will benefit from the proceeds after being recommended by chemistry teacher Kevin Costick who supports the charity.
The senior boys’ race was taken in a record time of 24.33 mins by Archie Hunt knocking two minutes off last year’s winning effort. Maddy Forsyth took the senior girls’ race with an impressive 22.59 minutes over a slightly shorter course.
Freddie Langton and Beth Wilson won the intermediate race with respective times of 18.57 and 21.54, while the junior event saw Daniel Richardson first across the line in 19.25 and Poppy Barlow first girl home in 21.48. Year 6 pupil Matthew Burgess won the Prep School race.
Old boy Geoffrey Turnbull’s record of 20.45 set in 1979 remains the official record as the original course changed three years ago.
Organiser Charles Alderson said: “It was the perfect day for running and the students set some impressive times given the conditions were tricky under foot and there was a strong breeze. The Barnard Run remains an incredible event because it involves the whole school community and is well supported by families.”
Headmaster Tony Jackson said: “The annual run is an amazing spectacle because everyone takes part not just the keen athletes and it captures the spirit of what makes Barnard Castle School unique. Our academics, musicians and artists stand shoulder to shoulder with our elite athletes and are rewarded with equal satisfaction as they cross the finish line, particularly as they are also helping such a worthy cause.”
Headmistress of the Prep School Laura Turner added: “Our younger children were thrilled to take part in a whole-school community event with the older boys and girls and had a great time competing in the fun and elite races. It gives them a tantalising glimpse of life at senior school and removes any fear of the unknown they may otherwise have over the next stage of their learning.”