Celebrity coaches put runners through their paces

The first Start Me Up For Sunderland session held at the Stadium of Light, with Katie Bulmer-Cooke, Steve Cram, Siglion's John Seager, Duncan Watmore and Alyson Dixon.

The first Start Me Up For Sunderland session held at the Stadium of Light, with Katie Bulmer-Cooke, Steve Cram, Siglion's John Seager, Duncan Watmore and Alyson Dixon.

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Sporty Wearsiders have been put through their paces by celebrity coaches.

Sunderland AFC striker Duncan Watmore, BBC’s The Apprentice star Katie Bulmer-Cooke and international athlete Alyson Dixon joined sporting legend Steve Cram to help runners get in shape ahead of next year’s Sunderland City Half Marathon and 10K events.

Some of the runners get in some training in preparation for the big event.

Some of the runners get in some training in preparation for the big event.

The first ‘Start Me Up For Sunderland’ fitness session took place at the Stadium of Light this week, when runners were coached by qualified guides, former 1,500m world champion Cram along with Katie Bulmer-Cooke, a successful personal trainer, and Sunderland Strollers member Alyson Dixon.

Duncan Watmore also dropped in to encourage those taking part and to chat about his footballing rise to fame with the Black Cats.

Chris Lines, a member of the Events of the North team, which is organising the 2016 Siglion Sunderland City Half Marathon and 10K, said: “The sessions are aimed at those wanting help to run or those wanting to challenge themselves. We want to get more people in and around Sunderland to get fit, active and healthy. These sessions will get them on the right path in a way that is really accessible and enjoyable.

“Some people are daunted by the idea of running so with the sessions they can have a go at it with like-minded others in the hands of qualified coaches.” Dates for future sessions are yet to be confirmed, but they will take place on a regular basis between now and the runs on May 1, 2016.

Start Me Up For Sunderland was introduced at the earlier this year and is designed for anyone who wants to lead a more active lifestyle, but doesn’t know where to start. Runners can get fit through a combination of mentoring, easy group runs with qualified coaches and training tips. For more information about the 2016 Siglion Sunderland City Half Marathon and 10K and to book a place on one of the events visit www.sunderlandcity10k.com.