A packed line up of experts and high-profile speakers from the world of running will take over the Gala Theatre and Millennium Square during the first Durham City Run Festival later this month.  A schedule of free talks and practical sessions will offer advice on training, nutrition, fundraising and much more.  Organised by Events of the North in partnership with Durham County Council, the Durham City Run Festival will take over the centre of Durham and the Gala Theatre from 25-27 July.  As well as the busy speaker programme, the festival sees the return of the popular Prince Bishops Durham City 10k and 5k races, plus films, book signings, the global debut of Paula Radcliffe’s Families on Track, the new Run Like a Legend Mile challenge, a celebration of the life of Sir Roger Bannister, and a schedule of free themed running events.

On Thursday 25 July international athlete turned coach Lewis Moses will get the speaker programme off to an energetic start with Warm up like the Elites when he will provide runners with practical tips and demonstrations to aid their training.  Kicking off at 6:00pm in Millennium Square, the session will be an ideal warm up for the Prince Bishops Durham City 10k and 5k runners before their races get underway later that evening.  Lewis will tackle the 10k, along with his wife Gemma Hillier-Moses, who will also be part of the speaker programme during the festival.

On Friday 26 July, the speaker programme will get into full swing with seven free hour-long talks and practical sessions taking place from 12:00 noon until 7:00pm.  The packed and varied line-up is as follows:

  • Ben Smith’s What next after 401 Marathons in 401 Days? (12:00 noon, Gala Theatre) – after inspiring the world with his phenomenal feat of completing 401 marathons in 401 days for anti-bullying charities, Ben will give an insight into his next remarkable challenge
  • Louise Sutton – Nutrition for Runners (1:00pm, Gala Theatre) – Durham City Run Festival nutritionist Louise, who has worked with many elite athletes at Leeds Beckett University, will share her knowledge of sport dietetics in elite and extreme environments
  • Tom Lancashire – How to tailor your training to your DNA (2:00pm, Gala Theatre) – the Olympic middle-distance athlete will give an insight into how he uses gene mapping to help devise bespoke training programmes according to DNA profiles
  • Gemma Hillier-Moses – Move Against Cancer (3:00pm, Gala Theatre) – Gemma will offer an emotional and compelling story of how her athletic dreams were shattered by cancer, but how she she survived, runs and has inspired others through the charity Move Against Cancer
  • Colin Burgin-Plews (AKA ‘Big Pink Dress’) – Fundraising through running (4:00pm, Gala Theatre) – the renowned North East fundraiser, known to most as Big Pink Dress for raising funds and fun with his outlandish outfits, will give an insight into his dress techniques, how he makes a big difference to the charities he supports, and his favourite stories
  • Dane Mitchell – Practical session for running strength (5:00pm, Millennium Square) – the coach and guru to elite athletes based out of Leeds Beckett University will put crowds through their paces with his expert insights into strength and conditioning training
  • Paul Hobrough – Running Free of Injuries (6:00pm, Gala Theatre) – Paul, a physio to elite athletes who is at the forefront of new innovations in treatment and recovery, will offer practical advice on injury prevention and typical troubles.

On Saturday 27 July, Femke Van Dreven from Durham City Physio will offer an insight into Adolescent Fitness and Training at 3:00pm, before the Durham City Run Festival’s speaker programme comes to an exciting climax with a masterclass on Running a Marathon, delivered by Paula Radcliffe and Ben Smith at 4:00pm.  Fans of long-distance running are expected to pack the Gala Theatre to hear about the duo’s experiences and insight into running 26 miles and 385 yards.

The expert talks are free to attend on a first come first served basis, apart from Saturday’s Running a Marathon event where tickets are priced at £5 per person.

Places at all of the paid for events at the Durham City Run Festival can be booked at www.durhamcityrun.com.  For the latest news on the festival, follow @durhamcityrun on Twitter and search for the event on Facebook.