Run 2 Respect: Hundreds take part in 5k race saluting armed forces in Sunderland
What a success - now let's get started on the next one!
That was the message from the thrilled organiser of this year’s Run 2 Respect event in Sunderland.
It saw 250 runners gather at the Silksworth Sports Complex to tackle a 5k course for charity.
The run, held in bracing but sunny conditions, aimed to raise funds and awareness for Forces charities.
The rain held off for the run on Sunday which attracted entrants from all over the North East and from one woman, Camilla Jackson, who came from the USA to take part - and ended the day as the first female finisher.
First home for the men in the Run to Respect 5k was Darren Fletchers but the biggest winner on the day was charity.
Although the final total has not been revealed yet, money is still pouring in for worthy causes, said event organiser Claire Douglas.
She said: “We had 250 people on the day which is 70 more than we had last year. Everything went brilliantly and we were really lucky that we did not have any of the bad weather.
“The feedback we have had from people has been really good as well.
“I am ready to start again with the planning for next year’s event.”
Claire’s motivation to put on the 5k each year, she said, was: “Seeing the enjoyment that so many people get from it. People come together and have fun and you can see that on their faces, whether they are doing it for the first time or whether they have come back year after year.”
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Among the runners this year were ‘Big Pink Dress’ Colin Burgin-Plews who has been a fantastic supporter of the annual run, said Claire.
Runners this year, got a T-shirt as well as a medal and a goody bag.
And for Claire, it was another triumph for someone who is already an award-winning fundraiser.
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.
She continued to fundraise and gathered in more than £50,000 for worthy causes.
It saw Claire lift the Sunderland Echo Best of Wearside 2015 Fundraiser of the Year trophy and she has continued with her sterling efforts ever since.