Athletics legend and Olympian Paula Radcliffe has been in the region to catch up with the team behind the Durham City Run Festival.

Founded in 2016, the celebration of running is now a well-established fixture on the summer events calendar in County Durham and the wider North East.

This year’s festival will take place from July 18-20 and will once again feature the popular Durham City Run 5K and 10K races, the Run Like A Legend Mile challenge, XO urban orienteering, plus Paula’s own Families on Track event.

Based in the heart of the city, the annual Durham City Run Festival is organised by Events of the North, in partnership with Durham County Council and Durham University.

During Paula’s visit to promote the event on Monday (April 22), Paula said: “Families on Track made its global debut in Durham and it was a big success.

“With the support of the Durham City Run Festival, we were able to prove that the concept worked, and since then, we’ve been rolling it out around the UK and internationally too.

Woman standing in front of Start gantry for Families on Track.

Paula’s Families on Track takes place on the Saturday of Durham City Run Festival every year.

“I’ll always have a soft spot for Durham and love coming back up here with my family. It’s a beautiful city and a great location to run or watch, and it’s brilliant to see the festival continue to evolve and grow. From all of the plans that I’ve seen, 2024 could be the best event yet!”

Every year, the event attracts thousands of runners of all ages and abilities, plus large numbers of spectators, from all across the UK.

Initially held on one evening, the festival has expanded and now features races and activities in numerous locations around the city on multiple days.

For 2024, the 5K and 10K races will have new routes, both starting at the riverside outside the Radisson Blu hotel and finishing at the Durham Cathedral and Castle World Heritage Site.

The races will have separate start times this year, to accommodate the growth in their popularity and allow for more people to take part.

In 2019, the festival hosted the world’s first Paula’s Families on Track event at Durham Racecourse next to the River Wear.

Paula’s own brainchild gives family groups the opportunity to get active together and complete a 10K distance in a continuous relay in laps of either 1,000m, 500m or 250m.

Durham Families on Track will take place on Saturday 20th July 2024, and entries are now open: Families on Track 2024