There will be thrills. And, let’s be honest, spills.

Micklegate Run Soapbox Challenge

Micklegate, York

Sun August 28 @ 11am-6pm

More details and enter

The Micklegate Run Soapbox Challenge is not for the fainthearted.

But if the idea of hurtling down those ancient cobbles in a home-made go-kart sets your heart racing, now’s the time to book your place.

After announcing the challenge last October, the new Micklegate Business Initiative has put in a lot of work behind the scenes.

They have decided on the course, setting off from a grid at Micklegate’s junction with Priory Street. And it will come complete with ramps, chicanes and, of course, cobbles.

And a website has been launched where you can apply to take part in the inaugural Micklegate Run Soapbox Challenge. All entries will be considered by the Micklegate Run committee who are looking for teams that will produce “excellent and hilarious go karts“.

Huge crowd expected

Location of the starting grid: Micklegate at its junction with Priory Street
Location of the starting grid: Micklegate at its junction with Priory Street

Already 15 teams have asked to take part, said Johnny Hayes, chairman of the Micklegate Business Initiative.

They are looking for about 40 teams, from companies to schools to individuals.

One of the race organisers Shelagh Garside said:

The aim of the event is to have a fun filled day for all, watching wonderfully crafted carts race down the cobbled street with an anticipated huge crowd all eager to see the race.

As well as the racing other entertainment includes live music, street food, a climbing wall and a children’s fair.

The contest

Another competitor in the Stockholm event. Photograph © Bengt Nyman on Wikipedia
Another competitor in the Stockholm event. Photograph © Bengt Nyman on Wikipedia

The course is approximately 400 metres long

The event runs as a “knockout” competition over a series of heats with two runs per team

The track includes obstacles and chicanes

There will be practice runs in the morning, the races will take place in the afternoon

Each team will have four members, with up to two riders and two push race starters

Brightly coloured and themed soapboxes are actively encouraged

There will be two age categories of teams: juniors (13 to 17 years old) and adults (18 and over)

A standard entry fee of £125 (£300 for corporate entry) is required

The nine prizes include fastest adult and junior teams, best novelty soapbox design, and most money raised

Professional organiser

“One of the main benefits from the event will be to bring lots of people down this beautiful street and to remind people how lovely it is,” said Johnny Hayes.

“It will inject a bit of fun into a sometimes forgotten gem of a street and help to let it regain its status as ‘York’s Finest Street’.”

The Micklegate Business Initiative has taken on Stuart Gladstone as event manager to coordinate the event. Stuart has organised some of York’s biggest events including the Tour de France, Tour de Yorkshire and York’s Sky Run.

All the teams will be raising money for their chosen charity and it is anticipated that this will raise thousands of pounds for their chosen causes.