Sunderland runners set for Race for Grace hospice fundraiser

David Savage (white t-shirt) and other members of the new running group, 'The Seaburn Smilers', who will be helping to launch this year's Race for Grace event.

David Savage (white t-shirt) and other members of the new running group, 'The Seaburn Smilers', who will be helping to launch this year's Race for Grace event.

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A NEW running club is calling on Wearsiders to lace up their trainers for Race for Grace’s 10th annual run.

Hundreds are expected to turn out for the three-mile run, which takes place on Sunday, June 23, at Herrington Country Park.

It is hoped that thousands of pounds will once again be raised towards helping the Southwick hospice, which is soon set to care for children, some of whom are battling life-threatening illnesses.

This year’s event will be supported by The SeafRUNt Smilers, a new group which helps beginners, and meets at the Seaburn Centre on Monday and Thursday nights.

The group’s founder David Savage said: “The SeafRUNt Smilers are very proud to be linked with the Race for Grace, and hope that this partnership will encourage many more people to take part, not only in the race, but in a more active lifestyle as a whole, while supporting a local charity close to many people’s hearts.”

Several members of the smilers will be taking part in the fun run, while some will be marshals around the race route.

Broadcaster Kathy Secker, who founded the hospice appeal in 2002, said: “If you’ve already taken part in Race for Grace you’ll know how much fun it is.

“You can make it as competitive as you like, or you can saunter around the course at your own pace chatting with your friends.

“It’s a great family outing, and we’d welcome your support.”

Entry is £7.50 for adults, £3 for five to 17 year-olds and free for infants to four year olds.

All entrants will receive a medal and goody bag.

The event is supported by Pallion takeaway shop Pizza Uno, who will provide runners and walkers with a slice of pizza at the finish, and Northumbrian Water, who provide bottled water for runners to quench their thirst.

Karen Maclennan, event organiser and senior fund-raiser for Grace House, said: “This will be our 10th Race for Grace, and I would love this year to be our biggest and best yet with all money raised in sponsorship going towards opening Grace House later this year.

“We really appreciate the support received to-date which has helped with the build and equipping of Grace House, and really need your support now more than ever.

“Lots of our runners and walkers come along in fancy dress, and it is wonderful to be part of something so special that will help us support very sick children and their families from across our region.”

Those wanting to take part should contact the appeal office on 525 2885, email info@gracehouse.co.uk or go to www.gracehouse.co.uk.

For more on the SeafRUNt Smilers, email theseafruntsmilers@virginmedia.com.