HEXHAM’S annual mud race is set to return after it was forced off last year due to poor weather.

Entries are now open for the 2019 Mad March Mare event at Hexham Racecourse.

The 10km slog, which was founded in 2015, has become famous for its array of tough obstacles, that will leave runners exhausted and very muddy.

Participants travel from far and wide to take part in the event, with people coming from the likes of Scotland, Yorkshire and London this year.

The popular event, which attracts around 1,000 runners, was cancelled last year due to the ‘Beast from the East’ - but organisers Challenge Northumberland are bringing the event back for the new year, with more obstacles than ever.

The event, which will take place on Saturday, March 2, not only brings people into Hexham, but raises around £20,000 a year for charitable causes through sponsorship.

Runners are free to run for their chosen charities but the event’s main beneficiary this year will be the Sarah Hope Foundation, which provides holiday breaks for children living with cancer.

Director of organisers Challenge Northumberland, Neville Duncan, said: “It’s definitely going ahead this year. We’re hoping that last year was just a one off because it was such freak weather.

“The course is continuing to be improved, and we’ve got two years of improvements since last time now and we have 40 obstacles.

“It’s quite a lot, but not all of them are man made and there’s some natural features.

“It’s fun but it’s hard; that’s the feedback we get.

“We had a thousand people signed up to do it last year before it was cancelled, so that’s the target again this year.”

Runners who register for the event before the New Year will save £10 through an Early Bird entry fee.

Entries for individuals cost £44, while entries as part of a team are currently £42.

Neville continued: “We raise around £20,000 a year for charity, and with this being our fourth year we’re getting towards the £100,000 mark.

“We just need people to continue to support the event. It’s good for the town economically because we do have people travelling in from outside the area.”

Runners can sign up for the event at www.madmarchmare.co.uk.