A GROUP of 12 runners is to take part in this year’s Prince Bishops Durham City Run to raise funds for a heritage site.

Team Durham Cathedral is taking part in the 5k and 10k races on Wednesday, July 18 in support of Foundation 2020, which aims to create a £10m endowment fund to support day-to-day maintenance and conservation costs at the historic landmark.

Team Durham Cathedral comprises of runners of varying abilities, aged between 23 and 58, seven of whom will compete in the 5k race, with the other five taking on the 10k course through the city centre’s cobbled streets and undulating roads.

Three cathedral staff, all members of the Cathedral Running Club, plus nine supporters will take part in the races, including seven staff from Durham’s Barclays branch, who have allocated their Barclays pound for pound match funding towards Team Durham Cathedral’s fundraising efforts. This means that any funds raised up to £2,000 will be first matched by Barclays and then subsequently matched again by the Heritage Lottery Fund, effectively quadrupling the funds raised by Team Durham Cathedral.

Rebecca Dodd, an administrator in Durham Cathedral’s music and worship office launched the Cathedral Running Club in 2016, after funding was secured through the Better Health at Work Award for a member of cathedral staff to complete a Leadership in Running fitness course.

Rebecca, who is set to take part in the Durham City Run 10k race, said: “We all share the aim of competing in the two races while raising valuable funds towards Foundation 2020. The involvement of Barclays staff is a great opportunity to make people’s sponsorship money go that bit further.”

One of the runners competing as part of Team Durham Cathedral is Andrew Laurence, head of SME at Barclays bank, who may be hoping to break a record on the day. Andrew currently holds the record for the fastest marathon dressed as a piece of fruit, when he completed the London Marathon in 2016 in just over two hours and 47 minutes while dressed as a banana.

This is the third year running that Durham Cathedral has enrolled a team into the Prince Bishops Durham City Run, having first got involved with the inaugural event in 2016.

Rebecca said: “I think it’s fantastic to have a race like this on our doorstep and have the opportunity to promote awareness about the cathedral and the Foundation 2020 campaign. It’s so lovely to finish a race right outside the cathedral and the support is second to none.”

The 2018 Durham City Run is being organised by Events of the North, supported by Durham County Council, and with Prince Bishops Shopping Centre as headline sponsor. This year, the event will have different start locations for the 10k and 5k races, adjacent to Millennium Square and in the market place respectively. As in previous years, both runs will finish on Palace Green at the Durham Cathedral and Castle World Heritage Site.

Other confirmed partners for the 2018 Prince Bishops Durham City Run include Durham City Physio and Best Bar None. Places are available at www.durhamcityrun.com. The Durham City Run 10K costs £24 to enter for unaffiliated runners and £22 for members of clubs (affiliated to UK Athletics). The price for the Durham City Run 5K is £15 (£13 for club runners).

To support the Durham Cathedral runners visit www.justgiving.com/durhamcathedral. Anyone interested in running on behalf of the Durham Cathedral can email Rebecca Dodd at Rebecca.Dodd@durhamcathedral.co.uk.