Why post-pandemic events are so important

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Since regaining some sense of normality after Covid-19, Durham City has seen the return of many post-pandemic events – Durham Restaurant Week, Durham Miners Gala and Durham University events, to name a few. This summer will also mark the return of the highly anticipated, annual Durham City Run, taking place between 13th–15th June. This vibrant event lies at the heart of Durham and is a pinnacle occasion of the summer calendar. Over the three days a series of themed runs occur, including a partnership with Paula Radcliffe’s ‘Families on Track’ scheme. With over 2,000 participants last year, and plenty of side-line supporters, the Durham City Run 2023 is sure to be one to remember.

Events like this one are more important than ever in our new, post-pandemic climate. It is what gives a pulse to Durham City, painting its colourful exterior and heart-warming interior we all love so dearly. After far too long with barren streets and frustrating restrictions, a harmonious celebration of individuals’ sporting success whilst simultaneously raising money to support others is what communities are really about.

Events like this one are more important than ever in our new, post-pandemic climate

This year, Durham City Run has partnered up with the Red Sky Foundation – a regional charity who install life-changing defibrillators in accessible locations. This perfect partnership amplifies the importance of a healthy balance in life. As a sportswoman myself, I am the biggest advocate for sport’s potential in so many aspects of our personal and wider life. Although anyone who knows me is absolutely aware of my hatred of running, I know this event will bring so many people together and to the sport.

2023 also marks the return of the infamous ending at Palace Green with the picture-perfect backdrop of Durham Cathedral. The route can now be amended from the 2022 run after social distancing rules have finally altered. It is little details like this which may not seem big at first but signal a thankful return to normality.

After citizens and communities were torn apart for so long, it is easy to fall into the trap of maintaining a sense of isolation and take a step away from participating in activities with the wider community. However, it is now more important than ever. We must try to grab onto these traditions, which the coronavirus has attempted to sweep away, and revitalise the world into an even better version than before.

However, it is clear Durham is taking on this challenge and highly succeeding, filling the county calendar with an array of events for all ages and abilities. I’m sure this year’s Durham City Run will flood the landscape with spirit as camaraderie is breathed back into the community.

We must try to grab onto these traditions

Events like our Durham City Run are also crucial for local business’, helping them bounce back after the pandemic. Runners (and supporters) need fuel, so a post-run snack or meal is a must. Hopefully, this means many of the eateries in Durham will be packed during these few days. An economic boost I’m sure they could all benefit from immensely. These events are all about support, whether that’s for charity, family, friends or your favourite local restaurant.

Coming from an area where community spirit is absent, I have thoroughly enjoyed both school and university, where it lies in abundance. Particularly, with Durham’s collegiate system, my competitive nature and college spirit is in full swing. The importance of regaining this momentum post-pandemic is immeasurable. Whilst Covid-19 has left us with a 25% increase in anxiety, there has also been an overwhelming increase in people’s generosity, compassion and efforts to rekindle communities. The pandemic has taken something from all of us: loved ones, momentous occasions and our sanity, at times. We cannot let anything else go.

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