Sunderland Strollers Pier-to-Pier Race set to be biggest ever

Sunderland Stroller Wendy Chapman defends her Pier-Pier title.
Sunderland Stroller Wendy Chapman defends her Pier-Pier title.

Sunderland Strollers will deliver their biggest ever Pier-to-Pier Race in its 22-year history on Sunday.

With over 1,400 entrants, the event has grown in size over the years to become the second biggest club organised race in the North East behind the Blaydon Race.

The race, established by club president Phil Tweddel, traces the coastline from South Shields to Roker, with runners facing disqualification if they run adjacent to the roads.

Wendy Chapman can bring the club more joy if she makes a successful attempt in defending her title.

She is in fine form after winning the women’s race in the Events of the North Sunderland 10km on Sunday.

Also in good form is last year’s runner-up, South Shields Harrier Luke Adams, the winner of the Run Cumbria Solway Half Marathon at the weekend in 72.54.

After the race starts at South Shields Pier and, after roughly one mile along the beach, the race moves to The Leas.

Here you can choose any route apart from the road or footpath down to Souter lighthouse.

At Souter lighthouse there is a water station and then the race moves to the coastal path down to Sunderland, eventually moving back to the beach for the finish at Roker Pier. The race is approx 7 miles (11km).

The race starts at 10am, with buses running from Roker to the start from 8am.

Afterwards the presentations will be made at around midday from the balcony at Grannie Annie’s Pub along the sea front.

Thanks to the support of PGS Law, runners will receive a race T-shirt, along with a goodie bag whose contents will, by tradition, remain a closely guarded secret until race day.

Race Director Harry Harrison said: “I think we have got one of the best goodie bags ever this year, we hope that all of the finishers are delighted with their contents.”

The Club is grateful to the National Trust, Sunderland City Council, South Tyneside Council, Stockton Council, Lofthouse & Partners, Franklin Steel, Jen Deighton Hairdressing, Peter Dunn & Co Solicitors, Seaton Spring Water & Window Care for their support, along with the helpers from Southmoor School, who will be giving out the post-race water.

Before the Pier-to-Pier race there is another race for local athletes on their doorstep.

The Ability 5km takes place tomorrow at Silksworth Sports Complex at 7.15pm.

Dominic Shaw, who won the Sunderland 5km last year in 14.33 is down to run.

Other leading lights include top veteran Guy Bracken from North Shields Poly, Houghton Harriers’ youngster Henry Johnson and Sunderland Harriers’ Craig Gunn, fourth in the Sunderland 10km.

Johnson was in good form in the North Eastern Track and Field Championships at Middlesbrough over the weekend.

He won the Under-17s 1,500m (4.08.51) and was second in the 800m (1.56.58).

Other Houghton medallists included a good performance from Under-13 Joseph McGinley, who took his first North East title in a PB of 2.26.56, Will Bellamy took silver in the Under-17s 3000m (8.46.39) and James Martin won bronze in the Under-20 800m (1.58.72).

Sunderland’s Sophie Burnett scored a golden double in the senior women’s 800m (2.15.71) and 1,500m (4.35.01).

Sunderland Harriers saw Jordan Beavers claim silver in the Under-20s 100m (11.50) and Alex Waites took silver in the senior 400m (63.07).

Sunderland Harriers’ Over-40 Ian Dixon won his second race in three weeks with victory in the Raby Castle 10km (35.19), beating Jarrow and Hebburn athlete Johnny Evans into second place (35.32).

The Durham City Trail Outlaws 10-mile trial race saw Morpeth Harrier Jordan Scott win in 62.36.

Sunderland Harriers placed Callum Thom in fourth 67.55 and Martin Blenkinsop was 13th 72.40.