Northampton colour run changes location after travellers occupy Abington Park

A dozen travellers pitched up in Abington Park on Wednesday evening.
A dozen travellers pitched up in Abington Park on Wednesday evening.

This weekend's colour run in Northampton has had to change venue after travellers set up an unauthorised encampment in Abington Park.

The sold-out Northampton Fun Colour Rush 2018 will now take place on the Racecourse this Sunday (July 22) from 9.30am.

The event consultant for the charity run, Christopher Dolan, has been busy for two days making the new arrangements.

"It's been a bit stressful, to say the least," he said.

"The last 48 hours have been a bit mad really with having to change the venue to the Racecourse.

"We've got a lot of young families so we needed to make sure it was a safe move for us first of all, then we needed to let everyone know because it's only a couple of days before the event."

He added: "It's been a case or resubmitting the plans with the council and getting the green light."

Despite the inconvenience, Christopher has viewed the rejig in a positive light particularly as he feels the Racecourse is sometimes overlooked for events.

"It's been a really positive reception from everybody and I guess with it being such a community-based event people have been pulling together and making the best of a bad situation," said the event consultant.

"We're looking forward to it. The Racecourse is sometimes overlooked - it's not necessarily the first-choice park but I think it's an opportunity to show off the park in a positive way.

"We've got loads of charities coming down and we've got 2,500 people that are expected to be there supporting over 100 charities so should be a great day."

The 5km race will consist of two 2.5km loops, and arrangements have been made to ensure all participants will be able to stay hydrated as temperatures are expected to rise above 20C.

Money raised will go to all the charities represented by their supporters, which include, among others, the Lewis Foundation and the Cynthia Spencer Hospice.

Christopher said: "Normally we have an official charity partner, however, we felt like it was a lot smaller charities in the community could get overlooked so this year we've essentially offered charity discounted tickets for charities who then offer that to their supporters for fundraising and sponsorship."