What we did

aat: events were contracted in 2017, along with Tri Project, by Merlin Entertainments to design and deliver a running event at one of their sites – Chessington World of Adventures. The objective for this project was to attract a new audience to the resort during their off-peak season and raise money for their designated charity: Chessington Conservation Fund.

Tri Project – who organise triathlons at Thorpe Park Resort – were to take the operational lead on this event; calling on their extensive knowledge of Merlin operations and resort layouts. With Hollie from aat: events driving a first-class marketing campaign and securing various partners, together we would prove to make a formidable team.

The concept we created was “Chessington Running Wild” – a 10km, 5km and 2km Kids Run which would take participants on a wild adventure through the heart of the park. Tri Project designed routes through the resort to showcase the animal enclosures – like Trail of the Kings, the Zoo and Sealife Centre – which (unlike the rollercoasters ) are still open to the public in the resort’s off-peak season; this also ties in nicely with the charity objectives. All participants are encouraged to explore the attractions for free on completion of the run; accompanying friends and family are offered an exclusive 50% discount. The CWOA team brought in “King Julian” and “The Gruffalo” mascots for the warm-up and to hi-five participants across the line, and opened up a number of rides especially for the day – including the Adventure Tree. 1000 people registered to participate in the inaugural event which went on to receive a Bronze Award – a testament to the outstanding participant reviews the event received on the independent race review platform racecheck.com

Proving just how versatile events can be, in 2018 we made some adjustments to the event to accommodate a new purpose: to help promote the launch of a new enclosure for the world’s largest species of cat – Land of the Tiger. All routes were diverted to loop through this unique enclosure and – responding to demand from parents wanting to run with their children – the 2km Kids Run became a Family Fun Run. The event raised over £3000+ for various big cat conservation projects and went on to win a Silver racecheck award.

With further operational tweaks and refined marketing efforts, 2019 saw a dramatic increase in revenue generated by the Food and Beverage units and gift shop on event day. We introduced a warm-up by celebrity trainer Fit with Frank, a prize presentation sponsored by Weybridge Sports Shop and ON running as well as animal meet and greets organised by CCF to maximise donations. We were thrilled to receive another racecheck award for our third consecutive year. To date, Chessington Running Wild proves to be a roaring success.