ORGANISERS of this year’s festival of running in Sunderland say they will be taking extra care to avoid the chaos which led to the cancellation of the Sheffield Half Marathon at the weekend.
Thousands of runners were left disappointed on Sunday as the event was called off just minutes before the start after a supplier failed to deliver bottled water for runners to pick up along the route.
It is now less than a month until 4,000 people are set to hit the streets of Wearside for the runs on Sunday, May 4.
But race chiefs today told the Echo they were confident that the Sunderland City 10k and Half Marathon events, organised by Sunderland Live and Steve Cram’s company, D&S Media and Events, will go without a hitch.
Last year’s marathon and half marathon in Sunderland was marred by controversy after it was revealed that all, bar the winner of the shorter race, had taken an accidental 264m shortcut.
Councillor John Kelly, portfolio holder for culture at Sunderland City Council, said: “Everything is a learning curve and if you don’t learn from a mistake, then you aren’t doing your job properly.
“Last year was a fluke error, and in Sheffield the other day they were let down by a supplier, which was unfortunate and can happen to anyone.
“The water we have for the routes is in the vans weeks before the race.
“Steve Cram and his team are very experienced in putting on races, so I don’t expect us to have any similar issues on the day.”
Sunderland is set for another influx of visitors across the race weekend, with tourism bosses hoping that bars, shops and hotels will be able to cash in.
Karen Makepeace, programme development manager of Sunderland Live, said: “We’re going to see a significant increase in people in Sunderland over the weekend, with the Zip Wire challenge from the Wear Bridge taking part on the Sunday and the first-ever Steam Spectacular on the Sunday and Monday.”
The deadline for race entries is Wednesday, April 23.
To apply, go to www.sunderlandcity10k.com.