Despite heavy rain and strong winds for most of the day, over 2600 runners competed in the Sunderland City Half Marathon and 10K on Sunday (3 May). The race, now under the name of the Run Sunderland Festival, was organised by Events of the North in partnership with Sunderland City Council and Sunderland Live.
Since the launch of the 10k five years ago, the festival has become an integral part of the city’s event programme, as well as a key date on the region’s sporting calendar. Both races enjoy ideal start and finish points at the Stadium of Light and move through the city centre and along the coastal road.
The day started with the Sunderland City 10K and saw Wondiye Indelbu take victory. Indelbu, who lost an eye and the lower part of his right arm in a hand-grenade attack in his home-town in Ethiopia, crossed the line in 32:50, followed by Ian Hudspith of Morpeth Harriers (33:07) and fellow Morpeth runner Michael Morris (34:09). First lady was Aly Dixon of Sunderland Strollers in 34:50 (a course record), with Justina Heslop of Elswck Harriers (36:18) in second and Sophie Marr (42:11) third.
In the half marathon, Tadele Mulugeta of Elswick Harriers secured first place in a time of 71:24, followed by Weynay Ghebresilasie of Birchfield Harriers (71:36) and Kev Jeffress of Sunderland Harriers (72:01). Tyne Bridge Harrier Louise Rodgers won the women’s race in 88:42, with Ashleigh Ewen of Sunderland Strollers (89:30) in second and Catriona MacDonald of Morpeth Harriers (91:26) in third.
Event director Steve Cram comments: “Huge congratulations to everyone who took part today. The weather conditions were extremely challenging for all involved, but that didn’t stop our runners and there were still loads of smiles around the course. Massive thanks are due to all of our fantastic volunteers who helped make the Run Sunderland Festival possible – they were brilliant in really tough circumstances.”