Information for Parents (Durham Dash)

We are a family event


The Dash! is open for boys and girls in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6; selected in a representative school team.

 We believe in ‘more the merrier’, so we like to invite the families of the competing athletes along with the extended family and friends of the school to enjoy the unique atmosphere of the “one and only” Dash! athletics event for Primary Schools.

 See you at Palace Green for the 8th edition of the  Durham Dash in June 2020.


Children will have the opportunity to participate in either an urban athletics road race OR field events.

 The road race will start at the Market Place and finish on the Palace Green. The road race will consist of 6 heats of 8-10 young athletes running the 550m distance to the Palace Green. There will be 6 finalists in each category for the road race.

The Field events is a carousel of activities – standing jump, chest push & speed bounce – in which all pupils participate in every discipline; an individual Field Event winner will be crown Dash Champion.

Children need to arrive at the event wearing their Dash T-shirt with their race number (self adhesive) attached. If possible please stick the race number below the Durham Dash Logo towards the bottom of the T-shirt. (We realise this might not be possible depending on the size of the child so please use common sense).

Each school year group has a different colour T-shirt, this is to help identify them for the race and field events.

Do not switch T-shirts between year groups. 

 All t-shirts of the same colour are the same size, we had to do this for cost purposes so it is a one size fits all policy!

 The t-shirt colours are as follows: 

Year 3: Red 

Year 4: Green 

Year 5: Blue 

Year 6: Purple 


Secure School Zone; all young athletes, along with nominated school helpers / volunteers will be located in the secure zone. Access to the zone will be managed by School Sport Partnership staff with access given only to those that are wearing Dash competitor t-shirts and or Dash Wristbands. 

Once children have finished their Street Race or Field Event activity there will be fun activities and demonstrations in the School Zone for them to participate in should they wish to do so. 

There will also be opportunity for young athletes to cheer on the track runners from the School Zone

Road Closure & Parking 

As part of being able to deliver a safe event within the city centre with vehicle routes it is necessary to secure road closures, in accordance with Durham County Council licence. However as a basic guide the route – Market Place to Cathedral and Castle – will have restricted access from 7:30am for set up whilst a full road closure will be introduced from 3:00pm onwards (11pm re open) to allow for event delivery and de-rig.

Parking is available at the Prince Bishop Shopping Centre, Walkergate Car Park (near The Gala) and the new Riverwalk Shopping & Leisure Complex at the usual parking charges. 

Accessible parking bays are available at each of the three city centre multi storey car parks, with usual charge fees applicable.  

Please Note : Durham Cathedral Bus service will be suspended from 3pm once the full road closures come in to force – Contact DCC Sustainable Transport / Tel: 03000 268 667


All participants (athletes / school reps) and family spectators are required to walk to Palace Green on foot as road closures are in place from 3pm. 

All athletes and schools need to head to Palace Green (Durham Castle & Cathedral); please pay attention to the timings in the programme. 

We cannot wait if anybody is late!!! 

On arrival children should meet their nominated teacher/responsible adults. 

The nominated teacher/responsible adult needs to register at the School Zone (Palace Green) reception desk once all of your team(s) that you are responsible for have arrived. 

Included in your pre event day race pack (delivered to the school) will be a copy of the competitors form that schools have completed. When everyone is present from your school the form needs to be handed in at the School Zone (Palace Green) registration desk – only when this process is completed will your school be registered. 

Individual children do not register at reception. By handing in the completed form we’ll know everyone is present. 

Main Event 

At [4:30pm TBC] runners who are competing in the Road Race will be escorted from the School Zone to the start line by the SSP staff. 

Running Races commence at [4:30pm/TBC] prompt. There will be a short warm up for each year group near to the start of the race, within the athletes holding area. 

Children who win their run heat will be given a WHITE T-shirt to wear, this is so that they can be identified by staff to ensure they are collected for their Year Group final. 

Once the runners have competed in the road race they will be escorted back to their school team location within the School Zone. 

Field Eventers will be competing on Palace Green, surrounded by the majesty of the Castle and Cathedral, so they will remain within the School Zone until signed out by School representative.  

They can, if they wish, gain access to their free refreshment pack and also some fun based activities and demonstrations within the School Zone. 


Food will be offered to competitors in the School Zone. On completion of road race or field events athletes will be given a snack that will consist of sandwich (Ham or Cheese), Flapjack and water. 

We will leave it up to the teacher/responsible adult in charge to decide when to collect the refreshments. 

Refreshments, including Hot & Cold drinks, will be available to the public on Palace Green (Cathedral end) through the good service of Ramside Outside Catering. 

Smooth Radio Parent Race 

It’s not just kids who are there to have fun! Our famous commentator Steve Coleman from Smooth Radio’s Breakfast show will be looking for all those keen Mums & Dads for our parent race. 

Track Distance – less than 300 meters

Start: at the foot of Owengate 
Finish: In front of University Library (Palace Green) 

Medals: Gold, Silver and Bronze for the first three home.
Shoes: running shoes / trainers required
Warning: Run at your own risk  

Presentation Ceremony 

Every young athlete will receive a participation certificate and for those that finish in the top 3 will be rewarded with a medal by our VIP/Sponsors. 

We would encourage all spectators and young athletes to stay until the end for the medal ceremony where there will be the opportunity to take photographs and celebrate with our 2020 Dashers! 

We respectfully request that during the presentation ceremony family and friends remain behind the cone and tape section to watch from. This is for health & safety reasons to prevent overcrowding and importantly give the children plenty of space.  


The event will finish at 8:30pm at this point it is the teacher’s/teacher assistant responsibility to ensure the children get home or to their parent(s). 

If any child is required to leave before the end of the event this must be done in cooperation and coordination with the school and their delegated school representative. 

A collection point for children will be identified at the School Zone (Palace Green) for any parents who are just coming to collect children. No child to leave the area without the prior consent of the School Representative. 

Additional information

  • School Zone on Palace Green and Market Place (Start Line) is a restricted access area, only available to authorised school representatives and athletes wearing DASH Wristbands. 

  • Once children competing in the road race leave the Market Place they will not be returning unless they are in a final. Please take this into consideration when deciding what additional belongings etc that they carry / bring with them.
  • Children are NOT allowed outside of the participant areas either on the Palace Green or the Market Place at any point during the event. This is to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all involved.

  • Parents are welcome and encouraged to spectate and will be able to see clearly from outside of the barriers both along the road race route and around Palace Green.

  • Parents will NOT be allowed in the athlete participation areas ie School Zone, Field Event and inside the Race Route at any time unless they are a designated helper displaying accreditation wristband (accreditation passes will be issued to schools prior to event); this is just to keep the event safe and the numbers manageable in the Athlete/Activity Areas.

  • We would encourage all pupils and parents to stay until the presentation ceremony.

  • Parents/relatives may need to leave with their child prior to the end. If this is the case parent MUST contact their pupils teacher/responsible adult whom will arrange for them to be collected and handed over via the designated crossing/collection point. This point will be stewarded and children will be noted as a leaver by their school representative.

  • We would recommend parents/relatives are given a phone number to call if they are picking up their child early so the teacher in charge knows to take the child to the School Zone Collection point to meet their parent/relative.

  • The event will not be cancelled unless we experience severe weather conditions so we would advise depending on how the weather is looking that children bring an anorak/waterproof with them.

  • There will be a lost children point located on the Palace Green at the bottom Left Hand side when facing the cathedral.