A record number of runners turned out for a regular Saturday morning exercise session, thanks to primary children from an academy in Blyth.

Students as young as three and four from Bede Academy took part in the weekend Parkrun at Blyth Links, taking the total to more than 400 runners.

Many students and their parents joined the run, with volunteers from the academy staff helping out on the course.

Principal of Bede South Bethan Harding, who was among the volunteers, said: “The run had its highest ever attendance including 164 new runners because so many of our students and their parents attended. Even nursery students completed the 5k in the rain and wind. Seeing their determination was an inspiration.

“We try to instil the benefits of exercise, as well as the importance of service to others, in our students from a very early age so this was a great opportunity to do both at once, while having a fun time with the Bede Academy community.

“We hope many of those running for the first time will now take up the activity as a way of keeping fit and being part of the wider community.”

Bede student Harrison Craig said: “I enjoyed running with my family. It was fun spotting all of the teachers on the way round. I felt good at the finish.”

Seth Smiles added: “I enjoyed having my school there – it was the best Parkrun ever!’

Neeve Hindmarsh added: “It was my first Parkrun and my mum and I are going to make it a regular thing.”

Mrs Harding added: “Jill Thompson, the event co-director did an excellent job supporting our staff volunteers and they were pleased to be thanked and to be told the feedback received by the organisers was incredible.”

Representatives of 22 different running clubs took part in the Parkrun with 25 regulars achieving personal best times.