Dozens of runners take part in Tenchy's 10k Tab in memory of tragic Sunderland soldier Michael Tench

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Dozens of fund-raisers hit the road in honour of a Sunderland soldier who tragically died while serving his country.

Tenchy’s 10k Tab covered a 10kilometre route from Seaburn in memory of Private Michael Tench, who was killed aged just 18 while on duty in Iraq.

Organisers Paul Jasper, left, Jean Reay, centre, and Janice Proctor before setting off from Seaburn on the Tenchy Tag 10k to raise funds for Sunderland's Armed Forces Day.

Organisers Paul Jasper, left, Jean Reay, centre, and Janice Proctor before setting off from Seaburn on the Tenchy Tag 10k to raise funds for Sunderland's Armed Forces Day.

Organisers of Sunderland’s Armed Forces Weekend - including Michael’s mum Janice Procter - decided to hold the event to mark a decade since his passing.

The former Hylton Red House School pupil was in the back of a Warrior armoured car which was blasted by a roadside bomb in Basra in January 2007.

The ‘tab’ is a reference to what solders do when they put full kit on. Some of those taking part in the walk had full military backpacks.

There was also a 5km junior route for children and families.

The late Michael Tench.

The late Michael Tench.

Sunderland fund-riser Julie Reay was presented with a trophy in honour of her support for the group before the walks set off and the junior group included Michael's nephew, also called Michael, who was sporting his uncle's green beret.

Organiser Paul Jasper said: “The 10K takes a loop up to the top of Seaburn, then comes back down to the seafront - then we are going into the city centre to the cenotaph, before we head to Keel Square to finish.

“There are about 120 people taking part, which I am delighted about. The support has been outstanding.”

The money will be used to organise events for the weekend, as well as to support those who are dealing with the aftermath of serving in the forces.

“They money will go into the Armed Forces Group funds, then we will work out what to do with it from there,” said Paul.

“As well as organising events for Armed Forces Weekend, we also want to support the Care for Casualties charity, so it will depend on how much we get in.

“We think it will be between two-and-a-half and three thousands pounds.”

Janice said she had been pleased with the backing from family and friends: “It is nice to see the support that we get. Some of the lads who worked with Michael are here and one ex-serviceman who has come down just to show his support for myself.

“It is quite humbling really,” she said.