Andy Corfield is a Durham local from Ferryhill. As a keen runner and member of Sedgefield Harriers for many years, he has raced in events all over the North East and North Yorkshire, but has returned to Durham every July to complete Durham City 10k since its first year in 2016. Since then, the event has grown and changed into a three-day festival for running, celebrating the historic city centre and giving both locals and visitors the chance to run around the city’s landmarks.

Alongside newer events such as XO Urban Orienteering, the Run Like A Legend mile and Paula’s Families on Track taking place at Durham Racecourse, the Durham 10k weaves over the river and through the city centre, passing Durham Castle before runners cross the iconic finish line at Palace Green, in front of Durham Cathedral. “Durham being a beautiful city, it was a no-brainer to run the first one, and I just carried on,” says Andy.
Over the years, the Durham City 10k has changed drastically, as organisers have had to work with various building projects, disruptions and general issues that can occur with any event. “Never take the course for granted,” says Andy. He recalls one year a burst water main just hours before the race almost called off the whole event. “The magnificent organisers came up with an alternative route and it still went ahead.”
He also reminisces on the disrupted COVID years, when social distancing presented a new challenge for running event organisers. Starting the race from a more open-space area at the cricket ground and setting runners off in waves attempted to minimise the risk of COVID at the event. “Very thought out in my opinion. The race has quality people running (pun intended) the event and nothing seems to faze them,” argues Andy.
Andy’s advice to first time runners of Durham City 10k is to trust their training and enjoy their surroundings. “Running through the city is beautiful and the public give great support.” Hundreds of spectators line the streets to cheer on participants in an event that is much-loved by the locals. It is a celebration of Durham, a chance to show off the city’s sights and welcome runners to the area. And of course, the race would not be the success it is without the small army of volunteers and marshals dotted along the route offering encouragement and ensuring everyone is having a great time.
“It does not matter if you are at the front or back, everyone is cheered home. Enthusiasm amongst fellow runners is a great feeling,” says Andy.
“Embrace it, and come back and do it again.”
Entries for Durham City Run Festival are now open. The 5 and 10k races will take place on Thursday 18th July 2024. XO Urban Orienteering is taking place on Friday 19th July at 6:00pm, and Run Like A Legend has slots on Friday 19th July from 10:40am – 4:40pm at Durham Racecourse. Paula’s Families on Track is taking place on Saturday 20th July at 11:00am. All events are available to enter now on our website. Follow us on social media to stay up to date with all festival announcements and updates. We hope to see you there!