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Search begins for Superheroes to celebrate 10th anniversary of Sunderland City Runs

Double world record holder Aly Dixon has teamed up with North East athletics legend Steve Cram and Sunderland City Council to launch the 10th anniversary of the Sunderland City Runs, which are supported by Active Sunderland. Aly, who, as Wonder Woman, recently set a world record for the fastest half marathon dressed as a superhero, is helping organisers to recruit 10 ‘Sunderland Superheroes’ to encourage the public to sign up and make next year’s event the biggest yet. The 2020 Sunderland City Runs will be held on 9 and 10 May, and will include the Sunderland City Half Marathon, 10K and 5K, and the Active Sunderland BIG 3K.

The 2020 Sunderland City Runs are being delivered by a partnership between Events of the North and Sunderland City Council. The event will support the council’s Step Up Sunderland campaign to get people more active in their day-to-day lives and organisers are seeking nominations (via email to info@eventsofthenorth.com by Monday 14 October) for Sunderland Superheroes, who will receive free places on a run in exchange for their efforts to inspire the public to get involved. The annual running festival has been expanded in recent years and now offers distances from 3K to half marathon, with achievable options for all ages and abilities. Over 5,000 runners are expected to participate and organisers are encouraging residents of Sunderland to take advantage of ‘early bird’ prices book places on one of the runs. Many of the participants will be raising money for good causes, including the event’s official charity partner, Sunderland’s St. Benedict’s Hospice. Event sponsors include Sunderland City Council, the Bridges shopping centre, University of Sunderland and Everyone Active.

The 2020 Sunderland City Runs will start with the Sunderland City 5K on the evening of Saturday 9 May. The 5K will use the iconic Northern Spire Bridge, providing a spectacular venue for runners and spectators alike. The following morning will see thousands of runners take part in the well-established Sunderland City Half Marathon and 10K, and the Active Sunderland BIG 3K. All three events will start and finish in Keel Square in the city centre.

Event founder Steve Cram comments: “Working closely with Sunderland City Council, we have built the Sunderland City Runs into a very significant occasion on the city’s calendar and we want to make the 10th anniversary event the biggest and best yet. It’s a brilliant opportunity for Sunderland residents – and people throughout the region – to get active. Aly really is a North East wonder woman and we’re looking forward to working with her and our other Sunderland Superheroes to inspire people to sign up for one of the runs and to support Step Up Sunderland.”

Aly Dixon adds: “I have always been so proud to represent Sunderland as an athlete and love having the opportunity to run in a big race in the city. The Sunderland City Runs have become a really important part of my year and I want as many people as possible to get involved and experience this brilliant event. With my fellow Sunderland Superheroes, I aim to use whatever superpowers of persuasion that I have to encourage more people to take up running and join us on 9 and 10 May.”

Now an integral part of the Sunderland City Runs weekend, the Active Sunderland BIG 3K is designed to appeal to beginner runners, families and fun runners who are keen to experience the big event atmosphere and buzz of the day. In 2019, more than 450 people took part in the 3K, which is suitable for all runners over the age of five.

Cllr Michael Mordey, Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, comments: “The emphasis is very much on having a fun experience and this is a great way for young children and their parents to join in and enjoy a great experience in the city. It really is the perfect way to have a healthy day out with friends or family.”

Places on the 2020 Sunderland City Runs are available now at www.sunderlandcity10k.com. Organisers are offering an ‘early bird’ discount on entry fees for both the Sunderland City Half Marathon and 10K, until midnight on Saturday 9 November. Runners affiliated to a club can enter the half marathon for £33, while the price for unaffiliated runners is £35. The early bird prices for the 10K are £23 and £25 respectively. From Sunday 10 November, the entry prices for the half marathon will be £35/£37, and for the 10K they will be £25/£27. Places on the Sunderland City 5K cost £15. Anyone who enters the half marathon or 10K as well as the 5K will receive a discount code to redeem in one of the events the following year. All event finishers will receive medals, technical t-shirts and goody bags.

The ‘early bird’ price for the Active Sunderland BIG 3K is available until 16 January 2020 and is £10 per person, after which it rises to £12. The price includes a technical t-shirt, medal, goody bag and, for the first time, chip timing. For further information about the Active Sunderland BIG Events, email active@sunderland.gov.uk or call a member of the Active Sunderland Team on 0191 561 4572.