Thousands of participants and spectators are expected to attend the 2023 Durham City Run Festival later this week and there’s still time to get involved. This year’s festival includes more events than ever before, plus the addition of musical entertainment from acts involved in Durham BRASS. The popular Durham City Run 5k and 10k races will both return to their original start and finish locations on Friday, with those taking part completing their runs at the Durham Cathedral and Castle World Heritage Site. Meanwhile, long distance athletics superstar Paula Radcliffe will be in the city to supervise and take part in Families on Track on Saturday, and there will be a busy programme of free themed runs. Over 3,000 people have already signed up to participate in the festival from 13-15 July. Some events are already fully booked, but places can still be secured on others before midnight on Wednesday.

Organised by Events of the North, in partnership with Durham County Council and Durham University, the Durham City Run Festival was launched in 2016. The festival is now a popular summer fixture on the city’s events calendar. This year’s festival has more events than ever on the schedule. As well as the 10k and 5k runs and Paula’s Families on Track, participants can test themselves against the classic mile distance in the Run Like A Legend Mile, and enjoy a taste of urban orienteering with an XO race in the city centre.

In addition, the festival includes a line-up of free themed runs. Horrible Histories creator Terry Deary will lead a ‘Deadly Durham’ run through the historic streets of the city, with stops along the way to hear terrible tales where they happened. Durham Mums on the Run will host a sociable buggy run for parents who want to exercise with their young children, and the festival’s official charity partner Red Sky Foundation will hold a ‘colour run’.

The Durham City Run Festival will conclude with a special event at Durham University’s Sports and Wellbeing Park, Maiden Castle, with Paula Radcliffe. Hosted by festival partner Durham University, this invitation only session will bring together many of the North East’s leading endurance athletes, including some of the region’s most talented youngsters. Paula will talk to the group about her athletics journey and they will finish with a session on the track at the site.

Steve Cram, Durham City Run Festival founder, comments: “This is shaping up to be the biggest Durham City Run Festival since our first. We’ve got a huge variety of events taking place over the three days and have worked hard to include something for anyone who has an interest in running. We’re really grateful to our partners at Durham County Council and Durham University for making it possible to host such a wide-ranging schedule throughout the city, and to Terry Deary, Durham Mums on the Run, Red Sky Foundation, Paula Radcliffe and Durham BRASS for helping to bring our vision to life. It’s going to be a vibrant, colourful and, above all, energetic and enjoyable festival for everyone involved.”