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Durham University

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Students help stage mental health charity fun run

(11 June 2018)

Participants in Run to the Sun 2017

Durham University students are helping a Durham-based mental health charity stage a 24-hour fundraising relay run.

Over 20 students will be involved in organising and running RT Projects’ Run to the Sun, which will be held at the University’s Maiden Castle sports complex, Durham City, on Saturday 16 June.

Teams of runners will be challenged to keep the relay baton moving round Maiden Castle’s athletics track for a full 24 hours, from midnight on Saturday 16 June to midnight on Sunday 17 June.

Participants often get round the track in fun ways. In the past, fundraisers have skipped, walked backwards, done cartwheels, danced, walked on stilts and run in fancy dress.

This year, one mum has already pledged to push her son round the track in wheelbarrow, while dressed as a plant. 

Improving mental wellbeing

All teams will be invited to be sponsored to raise money for RT Projects, which aims to improve mental wellbeing of people living in County Durham through art, learning new skills and social interaction.

There will also be entertainment including face painting, live music, arts and crafts, games, challenges, a midnight lantern parade and a barbecue.

'Fantastic to see students and local people working side by side'

Run to the Sun was founded by Bryony Potter, who volunteered for RT Projects while studying at Durham University. It is now in its fifth year.

Over the previous four years, it has raised a total of £11,800.

Simon Woolley, a trustee of RT Projects, said: “It’s fantastic to see students and local people working side by side in support of a local cause.”

'So rewarding to give something back'

Harriet Evans, who is studying Geography at Durham University and volunteers with RT Projects, said: “It is more of a celebration than a run. At one point last year I was dressed as a chicken pushing someone in a wheelchair round the track.

“It is so rewarding to be giving something back to the local community. I’m looking forward to being involved again this year.”

Among the students taking part will be members of Durham University Athletics and Cross Country club.

Get involved

To take part in the Run to the Sun, please visit