Sunderland runners have fun in the sun for Sports Relief + SLIDESHOW

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WEARSIDERS put their best foot forward to raise thousands of pounds for charity.

About 300 fund-raisers pulled on their trainers for the Sport Relief run at Silksworth Sports Complex.

Some of those taking part in the Sports Relief Mile at Silksworth Sports Complex on Sunday. First across the line Tomas Eden showing off his medal.

Some of those taking part in the Sports Relief Mile at Silksworth Sports Complex on Sunday. First across the line Tomas Eden showing off his medal.

Runners soaked up the spring sunshine as they took part in a one-mile, three-mile or six-mile route past the skate park and lake.

It was one of hundreds of Sport Relief Miles taking place across the country to raise money for disadvantaged communities at home and abroad.

Speedy Tomas Eden, 11, from Millfield, was the first to cross the finishing line for the one-mile route.

The St Mary’s School pupil, who took part in the run with sister Nirvana, 16, said: “It’s been really good fun. I think it’s a great way of raising money for charity.”

Account manager Rico Grewal and daughter Eva, five, from Barnes, joined those stepping out.

“This is the first time we’ve done anything like this,” said Rico.

“But Eva had watched a programme on Sports Relief in which JLS were in Uganda, and she asked if we could do something to help.”

Layla Robson, three, who attends Mill Hill Nursery, was among the youngest participants.

She made her way round the course with pal Jilly Scott, 10.

Layla’s mum Michelle, 29, who works at Sunderland Eye Infirmary, said: “It’s been a lovely atmosphere here today, especially with the sun shining and the girls have had a lot of fun.”

Sunderland University asked organisers of Silksworth’s Park Run, a 5km group which takes place every Saturday at 9am, to help stage the event.

Jane Niven, event director, said: “We’ve had such a good turnout today, especially considering the clocks went forward last night.

“Hopefully it will encourage more people to get out running and take advantage of facilities that are right on their doorstep.”

Shoppers at The Bridges also did their bit for Sport Relief, by dropping their bags for a mass conga.

Staff from Sports Direct started off the activity, encouraging people to get involved as the conga journeyed around the centre.

Centre director Andy Bradley said: “With a summer of sporting events fast approaching, we wanted to get into the spirit by encouraging our shoppers to join in, have a laugh and enjoy sport while raising vital funds.”

Northumbrian Water employees went the extra mile to generate £1,400 for the worthy cause.

Two teams of workers, based at the water company’s offices in Washington and Pity Me, Durham, competed against each other in a 20-mile cycle ride from one site to the other and back.

The Washington office was victorious and Peter Heppell, a new development advisor at Washington, was first to finish the route in one hour and 17 minutes.

Jane Dunn, from Northumbrian Water’s corporate responsibility team, said: “Our employees always rally round to support a good cause and help raise lots of money.

“The money we’ve raised will really transform lives both in the UK and abroad.”

Twitter: @sunechokaty