Looking for some post-Christmas inspiration to shift the pounds you’ve put on over the festive season?
Need motivation to get yourself off the couch and get in shape?
With the Siglion Sunderland 10k and Half Marathon events now less than half a year away, thousands of runners are expected to begin stepping up their training programmes ahead as we arrived in 2016.
One of those runners is Vicky Snowball, who says she has a new lease of life after losing two stone in weight through taking up running.
Currently being trained by Mackem star of The Apprentice, fitness guru Katie Bulmer-Cooke, the civil servant says she has drastically changed her lifestyle after hitting the roads regularly.
“I do a workout with Katie three mornings a week and she’s really helpful,” said Vicky, 36, who has signed up to tackle the 10k run in 2016.
I did the last 10k in just over an hour, and the weather was absolutely horrendous, so I think I can do it a bit under.Vicky Snowball
“She’s the type of person who if you’re asked to do something then you just do it.
“I wasn’t much of a runner before but I did the Great North Run a few years ago, which was something I had a goal to do, and this year I did the Sunderland City 10k.”
Vicky’s 2016 targets are now to beat her 10k time for 2015 and also take on other running events.
“I’m looking at doing the Rock and Roll Marathon in Liverpool as something I can do in the new year.
“I did the last 10k in just over an hour, and the weather was absolutely horrendous, so I think I can do it a bit under.
“I certainly think that’s something which is achievable.
“I’d never have thought about running anywhere before but now, I really enjoy it.”
Both runs will now start and end in Keel Square in Sunderland, rather than the Stadium of Light which has been the usual place over the past few years.
The stadium was the venue for the first Start Me Up for Sunderland (SMUFS) session in December, designed to encourage novice runners to approach whichever run they are doing in the best possible way.
There will be a series of SMUFS sessions between now and the Run Sunderland Festival.
They will be ‘first-come first-served’ on a session-by-session basis.
Both Vicky and Katie were in attendance as race organiser and former world champion athlete Steve Cram passed on his advice to more than 40 people.
Katie said: “Vicky is doing really well with her training.
“She’s been with me for two years now and she’s starting to exercise in a way that’s specific to her running.
“She told me that she’s applied for the London Marathon and hopes that the 10k is a stepping stone for that.”
Speaking to those Wearsiders who may be tentative about putting in for either event, Katie added: “I think the 10k is ideal for anybody who isn’t currently exercising but wants to set a new goal, post-Christmas.
“It’s perfect because you have the time to train for it. “Don’t think that you’ve got to pound the pavements five times a week either.
“Ease yourself in and make it enjoyable.
“Hopefully the race day is nicer than 2015’s, which was probably one of the worst days of the year in terms of weather.”
The Siglion Sunderland 10k and Half Marathon events take place on Sunday, May 1.
All participants will receive a T-shirt, medal and goody bag.
There is also limited parking, baggage services and fun activities for those not taking part in either event.
To sign up for either event, go to www.sunderlandcity10k.com.
Recruitment has also started to gather a team of volunteers needed to make the runs a success.
Volunteers can take the roles of race marshals, car park attendants, bag drop marshals, look after water stations and cheer points and more.
No experience necessary with volunteers needing to be over the age of 16.
All volunteers receive a packed lunch and a crew jacket which is theirs to keep.
To register your interest, email firstname.lastname@example.org or join the Facebook group “Events of the North Crew”.