Sunderland 10k and half marathon: Runners and organisers celebrate as Sunderland City Runs events return, with hundreds taking part
A festival of running has been celebrated on Wearside as events begin to make a return while the UK continues to fight off the pandemic.
Runners and organisers praised each other for helping this weekend’s races be a success in light of ongoing Covid restrictions.
The starting and finishing lines of the second day of races were set up on St Mary’s Way, chosen to help showcase the city’s developments on the former Vaux site, with microchip starts helping the Events of the North Team and partners space out the runners to keep to social distancing rules.
Around 3,250 people took part in total, with plans already underway for the return of the runs next year and the new transport corridor to link the Northern Spire Bridge and the city centre to help set up a new route.
Former Olympic athlete Alison Curbishley is among its organisers and said they were “over the moon” with how well the days had gone, with the weekend a tester for the Durham City Run Festival next month.
She sent her thanks to all those who had made the runs possible and said: “It’s great to be back.
"Obviously we’ve got the new road which is going to make such a difference and we’re thinking about how the event can grow.
"We’re focused on just getting athletics events back and in 2022, we’ll be back bigger and better.
"I think next year we’re looking forward to being back to full power and we’ll have a new hotel here and to have the Vaux site coming along and it was always going to be a showcase for what’s going on in this area.”#
Among those to take part in the half marathon was Carl Donkin, who pulled in friends Lawson Rutherford, Bradley Mitchell and Steven Baker in to take part in his latest fundraiser for 4Louis after it supported him and his partner following the loss of their son Harrison 10 years ago.
He said: “We started running during lockdown to get fit and out of the house.
"It’s good to challenge yourself and we’re raising money.”