Three grass roots runners who will be encouraging the public to get involved in a major event in Sunderland met up with a North East charity fundraising legend today. Ambassadors for the 2022 Sunderland City Runs caught up with Colin Burgin-Plews (Big Pink Dress) at Sunderland Aquatic Centre to hear some tips on how to use running events to support good causes. They were joined by the team at event partner Everyone Active, which is supporting the ambassadors with access to their facilities as they promote and train for the Sunderland City 5K, 10K and Half Marathon in May.
The Sunderland City Runs will take place on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 May, kicking off a summer of major sporting events in Sunderland. The two-day event is being organised through a partnership between Events of the North, Sunderland City Council and its Active Sunderland team, supported by Everyone Active. A fixture on the grass roots sports calendar for over a decade, the Sunderland City Runs attract thousands of people to the city centre each year. Each race will feature runners of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, from some of the best club athletes in the North East, to beginners and many who will be raising funds for good causes.
Each year, a team of ambassadors helps to promote the Sunderland City Runs and encourage the public to get involved in some way. Three of the 2022 ambassadors met up with Colin Burgin-Plews to find out how Big Pink Dress uses running events to promote and support good causes: Chris Johnson, who was diagnosed with incurable cancer in 2020 and runs to keep fit through treatment, and raise money for charity; Nicole Glover, who has lost seven stone and changed her life through running; and Richard Houghton, men’s captain at North East club Elswick Harriers. The full stories of all of the 2022 Sunderland City Runs ambassadors can be found at https://sunderlandcity10k.com.
Colin Burgin-Plews comments: “I love getting involved in the Sunderland City Runs and it’s one of my favourite weekends of the year. Living close by in South Shields means that I get to see loads of familiar faces during the event, which is great encouragement for me, and they’re always generous with donations. Big regional occasions like this are a brilliant opportunity to shine a spotlight on so many great causes, so it was a real pleasure to meet the ambassadors and share some of my experiences with them. As for advice, they were all very switched on, so I think that they will do a fantastic job. Probably the best tip I can give them is that if they choose to dress up for one of the races, they should give careful consideration to how much the costume might impede or slow them down!”
Ian Bradgate of Everyone Active adds: “Everyone Active is really excited to be support the Sunderland City Runs and the ambassadors. This is our sixth year of partnering the event and it’s great to see the runs go from strength to strength.”
Organisers expect over 3,000 runners to take part in the 2022 Sunderland City Runs, with thousands more spectators lining the streets of Sunderland to cheer them on. The event will kick off with the Northern Spire 5K on the evening of Saturday 7 May. Starting and finishing on the Northern Spire bridge, the 5K route has been adjusted to be even flatter and faster than in previous years, ideal for both leading club athletes in the dedicated elite field, and for novice runners who want to challenge themselves with a first race. Sunday 8 May will see the Active Sunderland 3k and the return of the popular Sunderland City 10K and Sunderland City Half Marathon, both starting and finishing in the city centre between Keel Square and the new City Hall. This year’s official charity partner is Red Sky Foundation, which will be supported by scores of fundraising runners. Entries are now open for all of the events at www.sunderlandcity10k.com.