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Durham City Run Festival returns this July, with our support as a major partner.

A highlight of the summer in Durham is the joyous celebration of running for all levels and ages that is the Durham City Run Festival. Its 8th iteration takes place from Thursday 18 – Saturday 20 July.

Events take place in and around the historic setting of Durham City centre, and include the ever-popular 10K and 5K races, the time-busting Run Like A Legend Mile challenge, Paula Radcliffe’s Families on Track to include those with littler legs, XO urban orienteering, and more.

We’re excited that some significant changes are being planned for July, including a new partner and revised race routes. The festival will be one of the first major events to take place in the region after the formation of the North East Mayoral Combined Authority, and a showcase for County Durham, which will be leading the sport and culture portfolio within the new devolution arrangement. 

New 5K & 10K routes, still with an historic finish

With support from ourselves, Durham County Council, Radisson Blu Hotel in Durham and new partner Everyone Active gyms, festival organisers Events of the North will be introducing new routes for the 5K and 10K runs. This year, both races will start outside the Radisson Blu and finish at the Durham Cathedral and Castle World Heritage Site.

And after her victory in the women's 5K last year following a last minute entry, our own Nicole Burlinson (pictured top right), is intending to defend her title in 2024's race: "I'm really looking forward to racing once more! Last year I promised that I would be amongst the first to register, and I'm sticking to that promise. I was very pleased with my result last year, and with some planned training, I'm sure I can take some more time off of it."

More festival events

Organisers will also add more content to the festival schedule during the lead up to July, and will be working closely with the event’s official charity partner Red Sky Foundation, to promote heart health and the installation of community defibrillators in the county.  The full festival schedule will be available to book from May.

Festival founder Steve Cram comments: “The Durham City Run Festival has become a big celebration of running and has provided a wonderful showcase for many of the iconic sights in this historic city. As the event has grown, we have had to adapt to accommodate participants and spectators, and ensure that we deliver a great experience for everyone. We’re delighted to build our partnership with Radisson Blu Durham and welcome Everyone Active, giving us the opportunity to introduce revised routes for the 5K and 10K races, and enhance other aspects of the festival. 

“The timing of these developments is ideal. As County Durham takes the lead on sport and culture in the North East, we’re excited about working with Durham County Council and Durham University to host this major summer event in the heart of the region.”

Quentin Sloper, our Director of Student Enrichment, comments: “We are delighted to be playing an active role in supporting the Durham City Run Festival again this year. The festival has become an event that students, staff, the wider community and visitors to the city look forward to in anticipation, and with the programme of activities set to grow further this year, I’m confident that even more people will want to take part and celebrate the importance and value of physical activity together.”

Cllr Amanda Hopgood, leader of Durham County Council, adds: “The Durham City Run Festival is a great example of our joined up approach to public health, sport and culture. Together with events like Brass and Seaham and Bishop Auckland food festivals, it cements our standing as ‘The Culture County’; and our regional role in leading the culture, tourism and sport portfolio in the new North East Mayoral Combined Authority is further recognition of the vibrant scene we are creating here.”

Entries now open

Durham City Run Festival entries are open now, with ‘early bird’ prices for the 5K and 10K events available until 29 February 2024.

Get yourself into the spirit of it all by watching the video of 2022's Festival:

Graphic for the DCRF 2022 video

Main image (L-R): Quentin Sloper (Director of Student Enrichment), Steve Cram (Durham City Run Festival founder), Nicole Burlinson (winner of the women's 5K in 2023 and Durham University staff member)


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