TRIBUTES will be paid to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings ahead of Sunday’s Sunderland City 10k, organisers have announced.
Almost 5,000 runners are expected to pound the pavements of the city in different races, and organisers say security has been reviewed following the Boston attack.
Ahead of the Marathon of the North, Half Marathon of the North and Sunderland City 10k runs, a minute’s silence will be observed to remember those affected by the US atrocity on April 15, in which three people were killed and 282 injured. Olympic medallist Steve Cram, who along with business partner Dave Roberts, created the festival of running in Sunderland, said: “Marathon running particularly has been at the forefront of media attention, and we hope to follow on from the London Marathon last Sunday and have a successful event. We’ve had a review about procedures in a meeting with the police, and we are very happy with what is in place for this weekend.”
Two North East runners who competed in the Boston Marathon will be on Wearside this Sunday.
Ean Parsons, of Sedgefield Harriers, and Craig Smith, of Heaton Harriers, were at the Stadium of Light, where this weekend’s races start and finish, to talk of their experiences.
“I finished just outside three-and-a-half hours in Boston, and it was about 50 minutes after that we heard two explosions,” said Ean. “We were hoping it wasn’t a bomb, but found out quickly that’s what it was.
“But it was all very well handled, even thought it was in terrible circumstances.
“You could tell that the city in Boston came together in the aftermath.”
Ean is set to tackle the Marathon of the North, while Craig will be a volunteer on the route.
“Ean and I both did the London Marathon on Sunday, and the crowds were phenomenal,” said Craig. “This weekend will be very poignant, but it’s a great event and a great thing for the North East to host it.”
Also taking place on Sunday morning will be the BQ Team Relay race, in which more than 30 teams are expected to run, and the Junior Miles of the North, which are being held on Saturday.
For more details go to www.marathonofthenorth.co.uk.