Back in September 2000 three local men started a legacy. Malcolm Hodgson, Dr Tim Hughes and Martin Lush were runners themselves and got together to put on a local race to raise funds for the PTA groups of Kirkbymoorside and Gillamoor schools where their children all attended.
Due to the foot and mouth outbreak there was no race in 2001 but in 2002 it came back in it’s now annual spot on the Sunday prior to May Day Bank Holiday Monday. Over the years this event has developed and grown into a firm favourite on the racing calendar with both club runners and amateurs alike, and is the biggest annual event in our small market town.
After 10 years at the helm the three organisers stepped aside to allow new blood to run the event and in stepped Rick and Catherine Eve. Rick and Catherine continued to grow the event by introducing the teen 4k race to fill the gap between the children’s 1 mile age groups and the adult 10k. With the introduction of the teen 4k race the PTA from Ryedale School was then included in the beneficiaries of the event.
Inevitably the event grew such that it became a more formal affair with a proper course accuracy certificate, UKA licensing, professional medics, chip timing and traffic management. All this leads to added cost in staging an road race. But, at the heart was still a great community event supported by the whole town.
In 2015 Rick and Catherine announced they were standing down from the event and a new organising committee was formed to run it. Man of he committee members had already been involved in the event for many years and are drawn from teaching staff at the schools, PTA members and community leaders.
Dave Pearson joined the committee and he was volunteered by his wife. Missing a meeting meant he was allocated the role race directory/secretary – something he has taken very seriously. As a keen runner himself he did want to run the event after moving to the town in 2014 with his family, however he now realises this won’t happen until he hangs up his hi-vis vest!
With the Tour de Yorkshire beginning in 2015 it was only a matter of time before it crossed paths with the 10k and it happened in the new committees first full year – 2016. Rather than working against it the whole town embraced the occasion and although numbers were down the day was a huge success.
Dave recognised that the event was not well publicised and began to use social media (Facebook and Twitter) to spread the word and build an audience; he attributes the success of these campaigns with the fact that 2017 was a sell-out year. In fact it sold out multiple times as people withdrew those places were filled from a waiting list.
“I didn’t do the run but my son ran in the 1 mile race, I felt it was a great day for the town and local areas. Social Media was excellent this year and certainly kept everyone updated leading up to the event.”
(reponse from feedback survey 2017)
Keeping the event thriving is vital to raising funds for our local school PTA groups which is why, since the new committee took over, they collected feedback after the race to enable them to improve for the next year. Improving the event, spreading the word and drawing in new runners is key to it’s continued success.