Former world record holder Steve Cram has teamed up with London 2012 Paralympic Games gold medallist Richard Whitehead - known as the British Blade Runner- to launch the Half Marathon of the North. The north east's newest half marathon is organised for Sunday 28 April, and will form part of a full programme of runs that includes the Marathon of the North and the Sunderland City 10K.
Starting and finishing outside Sunderland AFC's Stadium of Light, the course passes over the Wearmouth Bridge and takes runners through some of the city's most iconic locations. With the Marathon of the North and the Sunderland City 10K taking place on the same day, around 6,000 competitors are expected.
Organiser Steve Cram said the introduction of the half is testament to the continuing popularity of running in the region: "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. So I think this is the perfect time to introduce another high quality event to the North East."
Whitehead, who holds world records in his class for both the half marathon (1:14:14) and the marathon (2:42:54), commented on the launch: "I've always been passionate about road running, as I like the inclusive nature of the sport - where anyone who wants to can get involved. Whether you want to take part, be a helper on the day or simply come down to support the runners, this event is something that anyone can play a role in."
Like Cram, Whitehead said he hopes the race will attract others to the sport: "I'm very 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."
For more information and to register, visit the event website.