A NEW route is today unveiled for this year’s Sunderland City Half Marathon as organisers began the countdown 2014’s festival of running.
Over 4,000 runners are expected to take to the streets of Wearside on Sunday, May 4, and take part in the half marathon, Sunderland City 10k and junior run events.
View a larger map of the route here
And although the 10k route is staying the same, the half marathon has been changed to a “flatter” course which chiefs think will attract a wider range of competitors.
As in previous years, all routes start and finish at the Stadium of Light but the half marathon will take in fewer hills than 2013’s version.
Race founder Steve Cram said today: “We are really happy with the new route for the half marathon.
“It’s a flatter and more straightforward course and it should appeal to club runners who are determined to post fast times in the first half of the year.
“Both the half marathon and 10k routes also offer plenty of great vantage points for spectators, which will add to the atmosphere and sense of occasion.”
The Marathon of the North, which took place last year as part of the race weekend, has been shelved for this year while redevelopment work is carried out in Sunderland city centre, but could return in 2015.
“Sunderland is a city which has certain constraints geographically in terms of hosting a marathon and we’ll be looking to bring it back next year,” added Steve.
The Sunderland City Club Challenge is hoping to attract athletic groups from Wearside and beyond, with its top prize being a trip to the Rock ‘n Roll Dublin Half Marathon in Ireland this August, thanks to race sponsor Holiday Discount Centre.
The prize includes travel and accommodation to the city.
Steve said: “Thanks in no small part to its football club, Sunderland has developed really strong links with Ireland and I am sure that competition to win a team trip to the Dublin Rock ’n Roll Half is going to be very fierce indeed.
“The challenge has always been an important part of our races in Sunderland and I look forward to seeing clubs from all over the region, and further afield, battling it out for the honours on May 4.”
To sign up go to www.sunderlandcity10k.com.