GIRL power is set to dominate this weekend’s festival of running on Wearside, as almost 4,000 people get under starters orders.
Organisers of the Sunderland City Half Marathon and 10k, which both take place on Sunday, have announced that both races will be started by members of the Sunderland Ladies football squad, following a mass warm up led by fitness entrepreneur and star of BBC’s The Apprentice, Katie Bulmer-Cooke.
Once again, everything is set up for a great day in SunderlandEvent organiser Steve Cram
Meanwhile, Sunderland athlete Aly Dixon is favourite to win the women’s 10K and is hoping to set a new course record in the process.
Now in its fifth year, the Run Sunderland Festival is delivered by a partnership between event organiser DS Media & Events, Sunderland City Council and Sunderland Live.
Event founder and Olympic medallist Steve Cram said: “Once again, everything is set up for a great day in Sunderland.
“Thousands of runners will be cheered on by thousands more spectators as they pound the city’s streets.
“We’ve seen a real rise in interest from female runners this year, with loads more women than men coming along to our Start Me Up For Sunderland sessions and a definite surge in entries to both races.
“Initiatives like #ThisGirlCan are clearly making an impact and it’s great that so many women will take part in our events.
“Katie has helped a lot of them to prepare for the 10k and she’ll be there on Sunday, encouraging them all the way.”
Steve added: “In that same spirit, we’re delighted that Sunderland Ladies have agreed to start the half marathon and 10k for us.
“I believe that the club physio is going to be running in one of the events, so I’m sure that they will give her an extra loud cheer as she sets off.
“At the front of the pack, Aly Dixon is in great form and I’m sure that she’s going to perform well on Sunday. Our fifth birthday should be a great celebration.”
Over 3,500 runners will line up on Sunday at the Stadium of Light and alongside club runners, many of the participants will be raising thousands of pounds for good causes.
Following a race between charity mascots and the mass warm up, the 10k will start at 10am, and the half marathon runners will set off at 10.25am.
For more details go to www.sunderlandcity10k.com.