Hundreds of people trek across Herrington Country Park for Sunderland Big Walk

Sunderland Big Walk saw locals take in Herrington Country Park for exercise and charity fundraising.

Sunday, 30th June 2019, 13:13 pm
Updated Sunday, 30th June 2019, 18:22 pm
Hundreds of people took part in the Sunderland BIG walk

There were three different routes to suit all abilities: a three-mile course with a scavenger hunt, and a seven-mile and a ten-mile course along the River Wear.

It’s just one of Active Sunderland’s summer events encouraging locals to keep fit.

Helen McKerill joined daughters Sophie, 12, and Emily, 18, and Elaine Taylor at the Sunderand BIG Walk finish line

Victoria French, Assistant Director of Culture and Events at Active Sunderland, said: “It’s a fantastic addition to the big event programme. We’ve had hundreds of people turn up to take part in the walks and it’s great to see everyone take part in physical activity because it’s really positive for everyone.”

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Some came for the exercise, while others raised money for charities.

John Orio, a maths teacher from Durham said: “We just wanted to get out and enjoy the day. It’s better than just sitting at home. Next year, we want to do all three: walking, running and cycling.”

Helen Louise McKerill, founder of Team Mac raised money for MelanomaMe in memory of her husband. Unfortunately, she tore ligaments in her ankle so she watched as her two daughters took part.

Over 50 people walked for Sunderland MIND

She said: “We’re trying to educate people.

“My husband died from a mole on his chest that spread to his lymph notes and into his brain and we watched him deteriorate over eight months and I don’t want anyone else to go through that.

“Me and my girls have raised around £100 to go towards our big total.”

Over 50 people took part for St Benedict’s Hospice and for Mind.

Cousins Owen Hindley, 18, Jack Richardson, 9 and Spencer Robson, 11, were the first to finish the three mile route

Claire Coxon, a shop assistant, raised money for St Benedict’s in memory of her dad. She said: “This is the first time we’ve done this and we’d do it again for the kids because it was ideal.”

Trish Cornish, the Deputy Manager of Sunderland Mind, said: “We thoroughly enjoyed it. We do as many events as we possibly can to raise the profile. We’re hoping to raise around £1,000.”

Everyone who took part was greeted with a medal and a goody bag at the finishing line.

Californian John Orio and his son Cameron, 8, finished the three mile route
Everyone went at their own pace and enjoyed the walk
Susan Green and Matthew Lamb took part