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Durham City Run Festival graphic

Durham City Run Festival took place from Thursday 13 – Saturday 15 July with our support as a major partner. Rain showers didn’t dampen spirits and there was a sense of friendly camaraderie as runners focused in on their pacing, the terrain, race strategies and, quite literally, soaking up every moment.

Close to 3,000 entrants took part in the events of this year’s Durham City Run Festival, in a midsummer celebration of all things running, sport, and the City itself.

Events began with XO Urban Orienteering on the evening of Thursday 13 July, with racers taking on sporting greats Steve Cram and Paula Radcliffe.

Friday 14 July opened with Durham Mums on the Run. Later that day, the popular 5K and 10K races returned to their original start and end locations, with the finish line set on the World Heritage setting of Palace Green flanked by Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle. Runners faced the usual challenges of steep hills and cobbled streets, with the addition of heavy rain showers.

10K finisher Sophie Stanwix commented on her experience: “The course was somewhat tougher this year with more hills involved and the final 1km climb up to the Cathedral was a killer!”  

This year’s 5K and 10K races also overlapped with Durham BRASS Festival, giving the runners an extra musical boost as they passed through the Market Place and adding to the overall sense of enjoyment.

The Festival continued on Saturday 13 July, with Families on Track, Run Like a Legend Mile, and a themed run with Horrible Histories author Terry Deary.

Steve Cram, in his capacity as Festival founder commented: “This was the biggest Durham City Run Festival to date and it really delivered. We were excited about bringing the 5k and 10k back to Palace Green and our runners clearly loved finishing there, once they’d got the hill out of the way! It was brilliant to welcome Paula back to Durham for another great Families on Track event, which was as lively and entertaining as ever. The themed runs encouraged even more people to get active and Terry’s Deadly Durham run was a lovely way to round off three fantastic days.

“Our thanks go to Durham County Council and Durham University, whose support made it possible to hold this amazing festival across the city, and to all of the volunteers who make so many vital contributions. It’s been another brilliant festival and we’re already looking forward to 2024.”

Quentin Sloper, our Director of Experience Durham said of the event: "The vibrancy that this year’s Durham City Run Festival brought to our city centre was fantastic, and the celebration of sport and physical activity was great to see. We were pleased to see so many of our staff, students and alumni taking part alongside the local community, families, running clubs and many others. The Festival really helped us to celebrate Durham University’s recognition as the current Times Sports University of the Year. We look forward to continuing to support the event next year and we know that there are exciting plans to grow the Festival still further.”

Congratulations to everyone who participated, volunteered and cheered on friends and family.


Read our Durham City Run Festival blogs

A number of our staff and students participated in this year's Durham City Run Festival. Check out their blogs to read about their Festival experiences (and more besides) in their own words!


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