The excitement surrounding Sunderland's Marathon of the North grew considerably this week with organisers revealing both the 26.2 mile route and sponsors of the event. The race, which is due to take place on Sunday, May 6, will start and finish at the Stadium of Light and will be run as part of the festival weekend which incorporates the Junior Run and the Sunderland City 10k.
Details of the route were revealed by Charlie Spedding, the last British athlete to win an Olympic medal in the marathon. The first 5k will see runners head across Monkwearmouth Bridge, through the city centre, and up Mowbray Park. Approaching the 10k mark, competitors will be afforded some spectacular views of Hendon beach.
The remaining sections of the course includes a trip through the city's port and old docks area, a direct run through the University of Sunderland Campus before a final stretch at Dame Dorothy Street with the Stadium of Light looming large on the horizon.
At the launch, organiser Steve Cram also welcomed Red Spotted Hanky as the official Marathon of the North sponsor. The online travel company has also agreed to sponsor the Sunderland City 10k,which takes place on the same day as the marathon, for the second year in succession.
Steve Cram hopes the event will have a positive effect throughout the city: "The Marathon of the North is a really exciting event that I hope will encourage people of all ages to take up running." The Olympic medallist continued: "The course takes in some wonderful landmarks and very scenic locations, which I believe will make this a very memorable and enjoyable run for everyone, whatever the level of ability."
For a more detailed look at the route for the Marathon of the North, visit the event website.