RUNNERS are preparing to race over rocky footpaths and scale steep climbs as they compete in one of the most stunning races in the region.

On April 15, hundreds of aspiring athletes are expected to put on their running shoes to take part in the fifth Sandstone X-Country run.

The race, which is to raise money for the NSPCC Rainbow House in Crewe, will see residents pound through Beeston and wind round Peckforton Castle before reaching the finishing line at Beeston Market.

Following the success of last year’s 10k race, which saw more than 200 experienced and amateur runners raise thousands of pounds for charity, organisers, the NSPCC Nantwich District Committee, hope that the route will attract more runners than ever as they kick start their training for the marathon season.

And with a bouncy castle and shorter races for children, families are expected to flock to the starting line to wave on the competitors and have fun in the sunshine.

Last year was the first time that the ultra-marathon along the Sandstone Trail was relaunched by Helsby Running Club, seeing hundreds of runners battle over 33 miles and climb 3,700ft to complete the race in Frodsham.

Race organiser Andrea Beaumont said that organisers were hoping for another ‘great turnout’ this year and for the runners to get in a charitable mood and try to raise as much money as possible for such a worthwhile cause.

The NSPCC X-Country Sandstone Race starts at 10am on April 15 at Beeston Market car park. Entry is £10 or £12 on the day. For more information and entry forms call Andrea Beaumont on 01829 732994 or e-mail