How many cities in Yorkshire can claim they host an annual world championship? Not many. However, Wakefield does. More specifically, the village of Gawthorpe plays host to the World Coal Carrying Championships on Easter Monday every year, in which runners carry coal sacks over a distance of 1.1km.

The Races

Children’s Races

Children aged 5-14 and Youth 15-17’s are encouraged to take part in the Coal Race event by entering in a ‘Fun Run’ – racing 100 yards from the Darby & Joan to the Village Green. Registration for these races is now done through the online booking form and costs £6.

Women’s Race

The Women’s race starts from the Royal Oak public house, Owl Lane, Ossett and continues for a distance of 1012 metres to the finish line at the Maypole Green in Gawthorpe village. Women carry 20kg of coal. There is also a women’s veterans race for over 40’s.

The current Women’s World Record holder is Catherine Foley with 4 mins 25 sec in 2011.

Men’s Race

The Men’s Race is split in to three main races and two Veterans Races for those 40 years and over. Men carry 50kg of coal 1012 metres from The Royal Oak starting line to the Maypole Green in Gawthorpe Village.

The current Men’s World Record Holder is David Jones with a record of 4 mins 6 secs in 1995.

Applications are now open – reserve your here spot now!

Venue Details

Find us at

39 High Street, Gawthorpe, WF5 9QS