A FAMILY-FRIENDLY running event is set to return to town this July, lending its support to The Joshua Tree with a series of races.

The Northwich Festival of Running will see a 2k, 5k and 10k run at Carey Park on Sunday, July 8.

Last year, more than 400 people took part in the community charity event – running and walking the route to raise money for a good cause.

Alan Wilcox, organiser and founder of the Northwich Running Club, said: “We set up the Festival of Running to encourage all family members to enjoy exercise together – there’s no pressure on completing within a certain time or at speed.

“Many people who have discovered the mental health and fitness and wellbeing benefits of running have joined us on a couch to 5k journey and will be taking part in their first big run at the festival.”

This year’s festival will be the third to take place in the town, and will support the cancer support charity with the help of business sponsorship including Tesco and Rosebank Sports.

All are encouraged to get involved, regardless of their fitness or ability.

Catherine Bickerton, volunteer co-ordinator at The Joshua Tree, said: “I joined the NRC couch to 5k programme last year after being inspired by the runners who took part in the event last year.

“I’m delighted to say that I have graduated from 5k and am looking forward to taking on the 10k at this year’s event.

“The Joshua Tree will have a range of family friendly activities available throughout the event to keep everyone entertained whilst the runners take on their race challenges.

“This is very much a community event and we’re incredibly grateful for the support from both the running club and the local running community who have shown a tremendous amount of support for our families during the past two years.”

Last year the event raised £1,000 for The Joshua Tree to continue to deliver its free support services to families living with the life-changing experience of childhood cancer.

This year, ambitious organisers are hoping to double last year’s total.

n To register for the Northwich Festival of Running visit northwichrunningclub.com/northwich-festival-of-running