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A Bit of History
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This competition has its roots in 2005, when Thanet Roadrunners began to organise cross country races for children in school years 3 to 6.
Following a set of successful trials at Newlands Primary School, three races for each year group were held annually - one during each school term - at Palm Bay School in Cliftonville, Newington Primary in Ramsgate and St Saviour's in Westgate.
As the event grew in popularity, school car parks quickly filled up on race days and nearby roads began to struggle with the volume of traffic. The St Saviour's fixture was first relocated to Hartsdown Park in Margate and when Thanet Athletics Club took over as organisers in 2013, the whole series was shifted to Quex Park in Birchington. This proved an ideal venue for what had become the biggest running competition for primary school children in the South of England.
After many years of coaching local runners of all ages, East Kent Coaching has now taken on the task of organising this iconic event. We are delighted that a few long-standing members of Thanet Athletics Club have offered to support us in key roles on the day. More than thirty local schools received entry information in the recent Thanet Passport Update and children across the isle have already begun to sign up for the October races.
The youngsters whose photographs appear on this page all had their first proper racing experience in the Thanet Primary Schools' races. Look closely and you may recognise kit or faces from Upton, St Joseph's, Haddon Dene, St Laurence in Thanet and Holy Trinity, amongst others. Many years on, they are all still actively competitive runners and we are really pleased that they have volunteered to be our 'hares' on Saturday 8th October, leading this year's runners around the course.
The last time the event was held, in March 2022, over a thousand local boys and girls were entered in the eight races. We're really excited to take things further forward and have secured two dates in the 2022-23 academic year: Saturday 8th October 2022 and Saturday 4th March 2023.