Runners looking forward to return of Raby Races in 2022
A POPULAR running event is set to return in 2022 after a three-year hiatus.
The Raby Races, organised by Teesdale AC and hosted by Raby Castle, were last run in 2019.
The 2020 event and this year's races, which were scheduled for May 9, were postponed due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.
However, they have been pencilled in for Sunday, May 29, on Whit bank holiday weekend, next year.
The Raby Races attract hundreds of runners and their families from all parts of the region. Four events are held, ranging from a 1.2k events for the youngest runners and their families, to 3k, 5k and 10k races through the castle grounds.
The grounds are due to undergo a major redevelopment in an effort to attract more visitors to Raby Castle and Duncan Peake, chief executive of Raby Estates, said the races were just the type of event the land owner was keen to encourage.
“The races always bring a real fun and friendly atmosphere to the castle grounds and that's very much in keeping with our future plans at Raby,” he said.
“We want to see more visitors, tourists and local people coming to the estate and sampling what it can offer to the region.”
He added: “We're delighted that we've been able to fix a date with Teesdale Athletic Club for next year for the return of Raby Castle Races.
“We had hoped to see the races back this year but unfortunately that wasn't possible with the continuing restrictions.”
Meanwhile, estate officials are continuing to discuss how facilities for Raby Castle Cricket Club may be developed.
The club has been based in the castle grounds for more than a century and is widely regarded as one of the most picturesque cricket settings in the country.
However, the club's pavilion and changing rooms are outdated.
Mr Peake said: “The club is now concerned that the pavilion doesn't meet the modern requirements for the sport and we're in dialogue with club officials about that.
“The club is looking at how it can raise funds to improve facilities but there is a balance to be achieved between functionality and what would be permissible by local authorities for such a highly designated space close to the castle.
“We're certain that progress will continue to be made on this and everyone at Raby hopes it will enhance what is already a thriving club.”