The foundation will be the official charity partner for the 5K, 10K and half marathon events to be held on the weekend and May 7 and 8 and will field dozens of runners for the three races.
The races, which will kick off a summer of major sporting events in the city, will see participants from serious club athletes to fun runners, tackle routes taking in many iconic Sunderland landmarks, with the 10K and half marathon starting and finishing alongside Keel Square.
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Sergio and Emma Petrucci set up the Red Sky Foundation after their daughter Luna underwent life-saving heart surgery, initially raising money for hospital equipment before branching out into providing defibrillators in the community.
Sergio said he was delighted that the Foundation had become the official charity partner for the city runs: “I can’t want to see all of our fundraisers in action,” he said.
"The timing is ideal – we can highlight the importance of having easy access to community defibrillators just as we are about to install a device at City Hall.
"It is really encouraging that Sunderland City Council recognises the need to encourage people to get more active, while also ensuring community defibriallors are readily to hand for those unfortunate moments they are really needed.”
Fifty-eight-year-old Craig Hanson knows only too well how critical easy access to defibrillators can be. His life was saved by two of his neighbours when he suffered a cardiac arrest in December – one of whom used a Red Sky Foundation defibrillator.
"I died and came back to life,” said Craig, from Cleadon. “My heart stopped and I stopped breathing.
"One neighbour performed CPR while the other used the defibrillator.The CPR kept the blood flowing to my brain until the defibrillator was able to restart my heart.
"Without the Red Sky Foundation, I would not be alive today. I am living proof that quick access to a defibrillator can save lives.”
Sunderland City Council leader Coun Graeme Miller urged everyone to get active this summer: “The Sunderland City Runs mark the start of a really exciting summer of major sporting events in our city , which we are hoping will inspire more people to get active and enjoy all the fantastic physical and mental health benefits that this brings with it,” he said.
“We know from our recent Let’s Talk events consultation that our residents are really keen on events that they can take part in as well as attend with friends and family.
"The Active Sunderland 3k on the Sunday morning and Sunderland City Runs on both Saturday evening and Sunday are the perfect opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to have a brilliant couple of days out by getting involved in really enjoyable and worthwhile events or coming along to cheer the runners on.
“I’m also thrilled to see the Red Sky Foundation being named as the event’s charity partner. Their work to bring life-saving defibrillators in city centre locations has been truly inspirational.”
Entries are now open for all of the events at www.sunderlandcity10k.com.