Fine weather and enthusiastic spectators welcomed over 2,000 participants at the 2022 Durham City Run Festival. Over three days, a series of races, family events and themed runs took over the city centre, with the fine weather encouraging large crowds of supporters. There was also a musical backdrop to this year’s festival, which coincided with Durham BRASS Festival, with the two events combining to create a vibrant atmosphere. The Durham City Run Festival was organised by Events of the North, in partnership with Durham County Council and Durham University.
The 2022 Durham City Run Festival began on Thursday 14 July when acclaimed author Terry Deary lead a Horrible Histories run through the historic streets of the city, with stops along the way to hear the tales of notorious events where they happened. This was the first in a series of free themed activities, which also included a buggy run, a walking tour, a running technique workshop, and a litter picking jog (‘plog’). Thursday night also saw XO Urban Orienteering make a first appearance at the festival, with teams of two tackling their own running route through a landscape of architecture and cultural landmarks around the city centre.
The two biggest events of the festival took place on the evening of Friday 15 July, with the ever popular Durham City 5k and 10k races, which both started by the river at Durham Racecourse and finished in Millennium Place. Alongside some of the fastest club athletes in the North East, many runners took part in the races to raise money for good causes, including the festival’s official charity partner, St. Cuthbert’s Hospice.
Since making its global debut in Durham in 2019, Paula Radcliffe’s Families on Track initiative has established itself as one of the most popular and entertaining events at the festival. This year was no different. On Saturday 16 July, over 60 family teams of up to five completed a 10k relay challenge at Durham Racecourse, on a safe, enclosed course, running laps of either 1,000m, 500m or 250m.
Throughout the Saturday, runners also tested themselves at the iconic mile distance in the Run Like A Legend Mile challenge, following a fast, flat route along the river, which offered a great opportunity to set a personal best. The festival concluded with a jog and litter pick led by Sedgefield Ploggers, and a second Horrible Histories run with Terry Deary.
Event organiser Allison Curbishley comments: “It’s been another brilliant Durham City Run Festival, with added sound this year! We put on a programme that offered running themed opportunities to participate for everyone, whether a fast club athlete, a dedicated charity fundraiser, or a family that simply wanted to do something active together. Add in fine weather, plenty of spectators and the wonderful sounds of the Durham BRASS Festival, and the atmosphere was fantastic throughout. None of it would have been possible without our army of dedicated volunteers and we’re also very grateful to our supportive partners at Durham County Council and Durham University.”
Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for economy and partnerships, adds: “It’s been great to see so many people from a range of ages enjoying the fun events which made up this year’s Durham City Run Festival. With Durham BRASS Festival and the visit of the Queen’s Baton Relay also taking place in the past few days, thousands of visitors have been able to see what County Durham has to offer. Well done to everyone who has taken part, we hope you had a fantastic time.”