First training session for runners ahead of Sunderland City 10k and half marathon takes place

Runners taking part in the first Start Me Up For Sunderland training session in Silksworth.

Runners taking part in the first Start Me Up For Sunderland training session in Silksworth.

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Almost 60 novice runners laced up their trainers as they bid to get fit in time for this year’s festival of running in Sunderland.

A total of 58 people took part in the first Start Me Up For Sunderland (SMUFS) training session as the Everyone Active Gym in Silksworth.

They are all running in either the Sunderland City 10k or half marathon events on Sunday, May 7.

Originally launched in 2015, the #SMUFS initiative has become a key part of the build up to the Run Sunderland Festival and is designed to help less experienced runners prepare for the challenge of the 10K or half marathon.

Eight run leaders from Wearside clubs managed the event and the session provided participants with advice and encouragement from friendly guides and coaches, tailored to their varying levels of experience, ability and confidence.

After the event, Everyone Active invited runners to stay at the Silksworth site and stretch out in the pool or gym, or just warm up in the showers.

All of the SMUFS runners received a free training t-shirt.

Future SMUFS sessions will be on Wednesday, February 15, Thursday, March 16, and Wednesday, April 19, and full details will feature on the event website, Facebook page and Twitter (@Sunderland10K).

Places are very limited and available on a ‘first come first served’ basis – anyone interested should email info@sunderlandcity10k.com to be added to a waiting list.

The Siglion Sunderland City Half Marathon and 10K are being organised by Events of the North, in partnership with Sunderland City Council and Active Sunderland.

For a second year, both races are being sponsored by Siglion, the development partnership which is carrying out major regeneration projects on the Vaux site and at other locations in the city.

For more information and to book a place on one of the events visit www.sunderlandcity10k.com.