With a course that hugs the South Shields coastline, takes in the cliff paths past Marsden Rock and Souter Lighthouse, plus an appealing distance of approximately seven miles, the Pier to Pier race offers not just a superbly scenic route but one that is also ideal early summer training.
Organised by Sunderland Strollers, the North East event, scheduled for Sunday 19 May, really stands out on the circuit and, with just less than two months until race day, still has a limited number of places available.
The race starts besides the pier at South Shields, after roughly a mile along the sandy beach the route moves to The Leas, here you can choose any route apart from the road or footpath down to Souter Lighthouse.
At the lighthouse there is a water station before the race moves to the coastal path down to Sunderland, eventually moving back to the beach for the finish.
Ahead of the event, Harry Harrison, chairman of Sunderland Strollers, told runABC North online: “Preparations are going well for the 2019 Pier to Pier Race, the 21st running. We’ve upped the number of entries available to 1400 and look to be heading for our third consecutive sellout with over 1050 sold already.
There’s a secret item in store for this year’s finishers, although Harry said this will remain a mystery: “As ever the contents of the goody bag will be a secret until race day but we think we’ve got a real super surprise in store for all of our finishers this year."
Last year saw a 1250 strong field compete, with Saltwell Harriers’ Abraham Tewelde (38:57) coming out on top ahead of Luke Adams (39:12) and Sunderland Strollers’ Mark Anderson (40:39). First female was Judith Nutt in 45:25, with Wendy Chapman (46:31) and Rachel McIntyre (47:43) her closest competitors.
Further information, including registration, is available here.