Running event bites the dust

Action from the Alnwick Trail Runner events in previous years.

Action from the Alnwick Trail Runner events in previous years.

A trail-running event due to take place in Alnwick this summer has been cancelled, amid complaints from the organisers about its viability.

Total Racing International organised the first Alnwick Trail Runner in June 2012 and the event took place again last year, despite late changes.

But it has been announced that this year’s event, which was hoped to feature a half-marathon, 10km and children’s races at Alnwick Castle and Hulne Park, will not take place.

Event organiser Drew Swinburne said that access to the trails used for the half-marathon had been withdrawn while a starting position next to a road was unsuitable for children’s races.

Coupled with the fees being charged, which weren’t levied the first year, the running of just a 10km would not be viable, he claimed.

But hosts Northumberland Estates explained that route changes were related to ongoing works at the Castle, while the charge was deemed appropriate for a commerical firm.

Drew said: “Alnwick Castle is such a beautiful venue and we were looking at bringing 1,000 competitors who would all spend money and would all pay for parking. I find it hugely disappointing and we put a hell of a lot of effort in.”

A statement from the Estates said that it supports many local charities including by hosting events, mostly free of charge, and while some taking part in this event would raise funds, the organisers are a commerical business and it was felt a minimal charge to cover costs was not out of order.

It added: “While the change of route away from the area around the Castle grounds last year may have been unfortunate, it was an unavoidable consequence of the substantial building works which remain ongoing at the Castle, and was therefore a matter of public safety.

“That said, we were looking forward to hosting the race this year and were disappointed to hear that the organisers felt that the small sum of money involved was enough to dissuade them from continuing with the project.”




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