Hundreds take part in Sunderland Run2Respect 5k event at Silksworth - with SAFC legend Kevin Ball and Big Pink Dress man Colin Burgin-Plews among those honouring heroes

The sun shone on scores of Sunderland runners as they ran to remember and respect Forces heroes.

Monday, 28th October 2019, 9:37 am
Updated Friday, 1st November 2019, 10:55 am
Kevin Ball and organiser Claire Douglas set off the Run2Respect event.
Kevin Ball and organiser Claire Douglas set off the Run2Respect event.

The annual Run2Respect event at Silksworth was a huge success with joggers of all ages tackling the 5k course.

They were treated to an event to remember with SAFC legend Kevin Ball starting the race, and ‘Big Pink Dress’ Colin Burgin-Plews getting loads of encouragement in his latest creation complete with headwear covered in poppies.

And as they got ready to run, the joggers stood in silence as a bugler sounded the Last Post.

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Winner Matthew Haslam receives his medal from Claire Douglas.

Then, the runners were on their way and first home in a field of 250 was Matthew Haslam in an event which Claire Douglas organises each year to back Forces charities.

Claire is no stranger to fundraising and has been organising charity runs for years.

Back in 2015, she organised Sunderland’s first-ever Poppy Run, which had the biggest response of any run of its kind in the country.

Her efforts helped her to win the Sunderland Echo Best of Wearside 2015 Fundraiser of the Year trophy and she has never stopped since.

Colin Burgin-Plews and Claire Douglas get ready for the big event.

Modest Claire praised others for their support and said: “A big thank to Kevin Ball for opening the run and to Colin Burgin-Plews for making a new dress for this year.

“Also a thank you to Sunderland Council for funding for the marquee and to all my family and friends for helping out on the day.”

Run2Respect is ready to return in 2020 and Claire added: “We had 250 runners this year and hopefully next year will be even bigger.”

Having fun in the sun on the Run2Respect.
They're on their way. Runners pictured just after the start of the event.