HUNDREDS of runners shook off their January blues by taking part in the first race of the running calendar.

The Carlisle Resolution 5k and 10k runs returned to the city yesterday, with more than 650 runners registered to take part.

Starting and finishing at the Durdar racecourse, the 10k route heads south towards Newbiggin Road, before looping back to the same point and returning to the racecourse.

The 5k follows a similar route, just with a smaller loop.

Waiting at the starting line on Durdar Road was last year’s female 5k winner Nadia Shaw, of Whitehaven, who was hoping for the same again.

“This year I’m trying to get a personal best,” said the 34-year-old.

“I came first female last year with 19 minutes.

“I love shorter challenger running. A 5k is a lot harder than a 10k, as you need to keep it more constant. I love the sharper and shorter races.”

Partner Dave Parsons, 37, of Workington, said: “As long as I am under 21 minutes I am happy.

“If I was under 20 minutes, I would be very happy. This is my first ever 5k run, I have only ever done Parkruns.”

Travelling over from Annan were a number of runners from Annan and District Athletic Club.

John Patterson, 34, was one such runner.

“It is good,” he said.

“The route is nice, not too hard. It is a wee bit hilly, but apart from that it is good.”

Making the trip from west Cumbria were friends Steff Gribbin and Amie Meloy.

Steff, 45, of Egremont said: “There’s a big turnout from our club (Cumberland Athletic Club), I think there’s 70 odd of us, but it’s the first time I have done this race.

“I’m just hoping to finish. It’s my first Cumberland race for about 18 months.”

Amie, 38, of Whitehaven added: “I am working towards the Liverpool Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.”