100 local runners take on Sunderland nature reserve


Saturday 18th August saw Durham Wildlife Trust’s first fun run, ‘Run Rainton’ take place over a breath-taking course at Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve, Houghton-le-Spring.


Sunderland Strollers Nicola Barker & Annette Thompson Cross the Finish Line


The sell-out 5 kilometre route included a range of trail challenges including stiles, squeeze gaps and kissing gates. Not only that, but runners ran up Nicholson’s Hill, a steep incline on the reserve and the last remanence of Nicholson’s Pit slag heap.


A showcase for nature’s power to restore and of the work of Durham Wildlife Trust, runners on the site enjoyed spectacular views of Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve. Volunteer marshals from the Trust’s task force, staff and Active Sunderland helped ensure the day was a success, cheering the runners as they went.


Tony Allinson & Alex Collier Sprint for 2nd Place

Representatives from local running groups stole the show, with high turn out from the Sunderland Strollers and Silky Striders. It was a Silky Strider 1 & 2 with Christopher Davison taking 1st place male on the first ever Run Rainton, closely followed by fellow Strider Tony Allinson 2nd place after a nail biting sprint finish with 3rd place Alex Collier.

From left to right – Angela Dixon (2nd), Elizabeth Lamb (1st), Clare McKitterick (3rd)


1st place female was taken by Elizabeth Lamb, with Angela Dixon coming in at 2nd and Clare McKitterick joining the winning ladies in 3rd.


Run Rainton was followed by Joe’s Pond Toddle, a 1km wander for little ones and their families around Joe’s Pond. Enjoyed by ages 0-10, the toddlers took on a nature trail and bird watch around the former flooded clay pit, also managed by Durham Wildlife Trust.


Together the events encouraged enjoyment and participation for all ages and abilities, full of community spirit and the beauty of the natural world.

Sarah Cleeve who took part in Run Rainton joined her twins Lucy & Heather for Joe’s Pond Toddle


Entry for Run Rainton 2019 will open in the New Year, runners wishing to join the mailing list for advance notice should email challenge@durhamwt.co.uk.


Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve and Joe’s Pond are open 7 days a week, the onsite visitor centre is home to an independent coffee shop as well as a wild play area. For more information about opening hours click here, for more information on upcoming events click here.




Thanks to our Team Wild marshals!