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Elite 5K added to Sunderland City Runs event programme

Organisers of the 2020 Sunderland City Runs have announced details of a new 5K race for elite runners. The Saucony Spire 5K will be held alongside the mass participation 5K on the evening of Saturday 9 May and is offering generous cash prizes to attract some of the best male and female athletes in the country. Organised by Events of the North in partnership with Sunderland City Council, the 10th anniversary Sunderland City Runs will be held on 9 and 10 May, and will also include the Sunderland City Half Marathon, 10K and 5K, and the Active Sunderland BIG 3K.

Over the last 10 years, the Sunderland City Run events have attracted some of the North East’s best athletes, including Sunderland’s own Team GB runner Aly Dixon, as well as the likes of global stars such as Paula Radcliffe. In 2020, to offer a new racing opportunity to some of the UK’s best endurance talent and those aspiring to get quicker and develop their careers, Events of the North has teamed up with running brand Saucony to introduce a new elite 5K. Like the Sunderland City 5K, the Saucony Spire 5K will start and finish on the iconic Northern Spire bridge, and will follow a new flat and fast route in the city.

Invitations are being extended to enter the Saucony Spire 5K to male athletes with a verified road 5K time of 16 minutes or under, and women with a time of 18 minutes or under. All those who enter who have personal bests of under 15 minutes and 17 minutes respectively will receive £25 towards travel expenses. Major incentives for elite grass roots athletes are some generous cash prizes for a regional 5K – £500 for the winner of each race, £300 for second place, £200 for third, £100 for fourth and £75 for fifth. Bonus prizes will be awarded – £50 for any man who finishes in 14:30 or below, and any woman who finishes in 16:30 or below (gun times). There will also be Saucony product prizes up for grabs, including kit for the first three North East runners in both races.

Steve Cram, founder of the Sunderland City Runs, comments: “I think that the Saucony Spire 5K will be a very keenly contested race. There aren’t many opportunities in the North East for the very fastest runners to win decent prize money at that distance on the road and we’ve been keen to attract an elite field to Sunderland for a while. We had already changed the course of the Sunderland City 5K slightly to make it even flatter and faster than last year, so it’s set up very well for some quick times. We’re grateful to Saucony for making this new race possible and hope to see some of the country’s best runners on the start line in May.”

Full details of the Saucony Spire 5K can be found at http://sunderlandcity10k.com/saucony-spire-5k.

Places on all of the 2020 Sunderland City Runs are available now at www.sunderlandcity10k.com. Runners affiliated to a club can enter the Sunderland City Half Marathon for £35 and the price for unaffiliated runners is £37. Places on the Sunderland City 10K costs £25 and £27 respectively and the price to enter the 5K is £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. Places on the Active Sunderland BIG 3K cost £12. All event finishers will receive medals, technical t-shirts and goody bags. 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.