A NEW half marathon in Sunderland has been added to the region’s sporting calendar.
Jarrow-born Olympian Steve Cram yesterday announced the Half Marathon of the North.
Held alongside the Marathon of the North, the event will start and finish outside Sunderland’s Stadium of Light and will take runners on a route around the city. The race on April 28 will see competitors will head over the Wearmouth Bridge, run a course south of the River Wear, then head back to the stadium.
Steve Cram said: “Over the last two years, we have successfully established both the Sunderland City 10K and the Marathon of the North.
“After London 2012, the popularity of running has never been greater, with people up and down the country being inspired to take up the sport.
“I think this is a perfect time to introduce another high-quality event to the North East.
“The Half Marathon of the North will be the ideal event for any club runner who is looking for a spring road race to tackle.
“I’m sure it will also appeal to fun runners who want to set themselves an achievable challenge for the first half of next year.” The run already has the backing of London 2012 Paralympic star Richard Whitehead, who was at yesterday’s launch.
The gold medallist said: “Whether you want to take part, be a helper on the day or simply come down to support the runners, this event is something anyone can play a role in.
“That’s why I’m happy to support the New Half Marathon of the North, alongside the Marathon of the North and Sunderland City 10K, as I hope they will all increase the exposure of running, as well as participation.”
Coun John Kelly, of Sunderland City Council, said: “We are delighted to be staging this fantastic new athletics event, which will complement our existing programme.
“We hope to attract runners from local, regional and national clubs to take part alongside individual competitors. It promises to be a great day for sport, a great chance to showcase our city and a great chance for everyone to participate in one of the largest running festivals to be held anywhere in the country next year.”
The runs take place on April 28.
Entries for the Marathon of the North and the Half Marathon of the North are now being accepted at www.marathonofthenorth.com
Entry to the marathon is £36, or £34 for club runners. Entry to the half marathon is £32, or £30 for club runners.
Entries are also being accepted for next year’s Sunderland City 10K at www.sunderlandcity10k.com