Chester Walls Race

The annual Round the Walls Race, hosted by West Cheshire Athletics Club (WCAC) has regularly featured more than 400 runners from across the UK. This page reports on the 2012 hosting of the race but details of the next Walls Race, and other events hosted by WCAC are available on the WCAC Website

The 41st staging of this annual event took place at 11am on Boxing Day 2012 and was anotherSanta crosses Castle Drive in the 2012 Chester Walls Race. great success.

Boxing day 2012 saw another successful walls race hosted by West Cheshire Athletic Club with 425 runners completing the course. As has happened with the event on some of the previous years, the route had to be amended slightly to take into account the heavy rain that fell for several days before. With the roodee waterlogged and perhaps more suited to a boating event, organisers were forced to reduce the length of the race to a little over 3 miles. Unfortunately the 2012 fun run had to be canceled as this was due to take place on the main roodee. This did not stop people having fun on the day and there was a fantastic atmosphere with many supporters and volunteers turning out to help organise and marshal the race.

Runners in the 2012 Chester Walls Race crossing Castle Drive before joining the walls at Bridgegate.

Whilst it was damp underfoot the rain stayed away for the duration of the race and many runners were clearly still enjoying the festive spirit and donned fancy dress for the day. Santa and a number of his helpers ran the course! Super heroes were also in abundance with Wonder Woman and Batman having a good race. Elvis Presley is also reported to have been seen hot on the heels of Batman as they raced across Castle Drive to join the walls at Bridgegate.

The main race still included a full circuit of the medieval walls but it was a faster race for 2012Santa running the Chester 2012 Walls Race! on account of the shortened course. John Gilbert of Kent Athletic Club was first to finish in 15 minutes 54 seconds, followed in second by Mathew Jackson of Liverpool Harriers at 16:04. Chris Smithard finished in 3rd place at 16:24 and Erin Howarth was the first lady to finish, crossing the line in 19:04. The full race results are available to download at the West Cheshire Athletic Club website.

The annual Round the Walls Race, hosted by West Cheshire AC Fancy dress has become a regular feature of the Chester's annual Boxing Day walls race. has regularly featured more than 400 runners from across the UK. This popular annual Boxing Day event was limited to 500 runners for 2012 as it would have been over subscribed. The race sees entrants returning year on year so people wishing to enter future hosting of the race should do so early to avoid disappointment. The main race usually commences at 11am and the Fun Run, all on grass, starts at 10:15am.

Although weather and walls conditions have caused many variations to its route, the Boxing Day Marshals from West Cheshire Athletic Club await the lead runners of the Walls Race on Castle Drive.running of this race has remained a constant event in the city since its inception in 1972. The standard route is between 4.5 and 5 miles, starting on the Roodee racecourse and following almost the full 2-mile length of the Roman and Medieval walls, to finish back on the racecourse.

Partial closure of the walls led to a new course being used in 2007 and 2008. Freezing weather in 2009 and 2010 confined runners to the Roodee, making four times in fourteen years and forcing the use of another permutation of the "Plan B" near-four-lap route on the Roodee. Except for harsh winds whipping across the racecourse, weather conditions were more favorable for the race's fortieth edition in 2011, finally allowing a return to the walls.

Full details of all races organised by West Cheshire A.C. can be found on their Website