LATEST NEWS: Marathon of the North will return to Sunderland

Runners crossing Wearmouth Bridge

Runners crossing Wearmouth Bridge

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SUNDERLAND will once again host the North East’s only road marathon.

Organisers announced this morning that the 26-mile run will take place on April 28 next year.

MARATHON OF THE NORTH 2012: Sunderland sea front.

MARATHON OF THE NORTH 2012: Sunderland sea front.

It follows the success of this year’s event in May, which saw thousands of runners take on the marathon.

Thousands of runners also took part in a more manageable 10k event, which will also return next year.

Former Olympian and Sunderland University Vice Chancellor Steve Cram, who founded the Marathon of the North with Sunderland City Council, he hoped the event would build on the success of the London 2012 Oylmpics.

He said: “Hopefully after watching a very successful Olympic Games in London, the games will inspire all runners and potential world beaters to get out there and don their training shoes.

“People can prepare to take on the challenge of the North’s biggest and most prestigious Marathon or the less taxing Sunderland City 10k.”

Mr Cram said the run would once again be designed with recreational runners in mind, keeping it as flat as possible.

He added: “The course takes in some great landmarks and scenic locations which will make this a memorable route for those taking part.”

Councillor John Kelly, responsible for culture in Sunderland, added: “We all hope that the continued success of the Marathon of the North will help it become of the major annual events which have become synonymous with our city in the public’s imagination.

“Late April is an excellent time of year for marathon running, following closely on the London Marathon in the previous week. Marathon running is on the increase so enter early and start training now.”

“Sunderland prides itself on its proven expertise in hosting large scale public events which attract thousands of people into our city and into our region, and we are confident that the Marathon of the North will join those which people regularly mark as ‘must see’ or ‘must do’ on their calendars.”