Fifty runners have met up for the first time as they prepare to pound the streets of Wearside in this year’s Run Sunderland Festival.
After being recruited by Sunderland-based sports nutrition company Totum Sport ate last year, the group gathered in the Everyone Active gym at the Sunderland Aquatic Centre before watching Sunderland take on Liverpool at the Stadium of Light, where the firm was match sponsor.
Athletics legend Steve Cram, Sunderland Team GB marathon runner Alyson Dixon and TV star and fitness entrepreneur Katie Bulmer-Cooke were also on hand to offer advice and encouragement to team members ahead of four months of training.
Totum Sport opened applications to join Team Totum in November, and shortlisted 50 runners to join the team for the Siglion Sunderland Half Marathon and 10K on Sunday, May 7.
The runners who are part of Team Totum have received free entry for the race they have chosen, and are being provided with Totum Sport products to use while training between January and May.
Leeanne Hedley, operations manager at Totum Sport, said: “We started Team Totum to celebrate running in the North East – and the volume of applicants we received was crazy.
“We have had great support from Everyone Active, where we held the launch before the match for all 50 team members.
“It’s great to see so many people getting involved with running in Sunderland and we can’t wait to launch Team Totum properly at what will be a great event.”
Former world champion athlete Steve said: “Totum Sport has really embraced the Siglion Sunderland City Half Marathon and 10K and Team Totum is a great initiative to encourage and support those runners who really want to enter one of the races, but who are a little short of experience or confidence.
“I look forward to following the progress of Team Totum over the next few months and I am sure that they will have a fantastic experience on the streets of Sunderland on May 7.”
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 the 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.
The 2017 events are also be sponsored by Totum Sport for the first time, as official performance partner.
For more information about the 2017 events and to book a place on one of them visit www.sunderlandcity10k.com.