ABOUT 600 early rising runners turned up in chilly weather this morning for the launch of a new 5k run in York.

The Heslington Parkrun is a sister event to the Knavesmire Parkrun, which celebrates its sixth anniversary today and regularly attracts between 500 and 700 runners of all abilities at 9am each Saturday.

Organisers decided to create the second run at York Sport Village to give people on the northern and eastern side of the city a chance to run closer to home.

The run took place around the centre’s cycle circuit and the University of York’s Heslington East campus at 9am and will be held at the same time every Saturday from now on.

The paved route is very accessible and there were several runners today using wheelchairs and other pushing pushchairs along, including Russell Bridge of Haxby, who pushed his sleeping 11-month old son Jack around the route in about 25 minutes.

Another runner who was determined to take part despitr tearing ankle ligaments in a race last weekend was Becky Wheatley from Leeds, who was reduced to walking pace, with her leg strapped up.

"It's the first one and I wasn't going to miss it," she said.

Emily Hearle, one of the event directors, estimated the event attracted at least 600 runners and said: "It's been an amazing success -it's been brilliant."

She praised the 26 volunteers who turned up to help marshal the event and appealed for more to come forward by going to www.york-sport.com/parkrun.

The first ever organised Parkrun took place in Bushy Park, Teddington in London, in October 2004, and they are now held in 18 countries across five continents.