ORGANISERS of a charity fun run say the event will just keep getting bigger.
Sunderland held its first Miles for Men race at Herrington Country Park at the weekend to raise money for Cancer Research.
About 100 men and boys went along to take part in the male-only 5km run to show their support for the fight against cancer.
Organiser Joanna Makepeace said although there wasn’t a huge number of people joining the race, she plans to hold it on an annual basis in the city and hopefully watch it grow.
She said: “It will be a slow burner, but it’s got to start somewhere. We had fantastic sponsors who covered the costs of the event, so all the money the runners raise will go directly to charity, so I’m happy with that.”
Joanna said there were some great people taking part and everyone had a good time. The first Miles for Men fun run took place along the Hartlepool seafront in August 2012, with more than 1,000 runners raising £40,000. The events have now raised more than £85,000.
Sponsored this year by offshore recruitment specialist Seatechs, the charity hopes to hit the £100,000 target for the money it has raised so far.
Deano Franciosy, a well-known Sunderland charity fund-raiser, was among those who took part in the event, running with a 45lb backpack, 1lb for every year of his age.
He said: “I saw the story about it in the Echo and knew it was something I wanted to take part in.
“It is for such a good cause and it is the first year, so I wanted to be part of it.”
Supermarket worker, Eric Nixon, 40, from Shiney Row, was also one of the men pulling on his running shoes for the event.
He said: “It is for such a good cause. I lost my uncle to cancer, so it’s something I wanted to do.”
John McLean, 45, a bus driver from Ryhope, said his wife, Julie, 43, does the Race for Life, so he wanted to do his bit by joining the Miles for Men.
He said: “I think this will grow into a really big event in years to come.”
John, who has lost friends and work colleagues to male cancers, said: “I was handed the leaflet and thought I would give it a go.”