Sunderland 10K, Sunday 3rd May
By John Grimshaw
This race has run for 5 years and I am yet to miss one. I have experienced a variety of weather conditions over the five years ranging from 24 degrees to Sunday’s chilly 8 degrees with driving rain and 42 mph winds!
After waking to this Sunday morning I did think twice of going!
The race is centred around the Stadium of Light and does pretty much a figure of eight. It starts by heading from the stadium out across the Wearmouth Bridge, heading down the main shopping street looping round a park near the civic centre (they used to go through this park in earlier years but learned from the fact that the gates to the park were far to small to let the peaks of runners through without a significant delay) then returning across the wearmouth bridge before a sharp right on to the river walk heading to the sea. You then run all the way along the front to Roker Park, looping it to bring you out onto the promenade before heading back to the stadium where the finish was.
At the finish there was a announcer who, whilst he was trying to encourage the runners, did confuse a few who had not run this race before and who thought the start line (200m) from the finish was the actual finish and slowed to be told by the announcer and spectators that they still had 200m to go round the corner!
Using the stadium as the base meant there were plenty of facilities and even with a few thousand runners there was plenty of space to get out of the weather before the race as well as toilets and refreshments.
After the finish you have to walk through the stadium where you collect your goodie bag and T.
There was one brave soul with a toon top on and to be fair he got a decent well natured barracking!
The race was hard but I do prefer a cold race so well pleased with my 47:20 (season best) finishing 199th overall and 13th in my age group!
A friend and my GF were spectators however and had in a lot of ways the worse deal as they had to stand in the wind and driving rain getting utterly soaked so thanks to them I still got a couple of photos!
Having done all five Sunderland 10ks it is well organised despite the well publicised disaster of the marathon and half marathon a couple of year ago that was abandoned and people went the wrong way respectively!
One final point thank you to metro for having work on the lines meaning no metros to Sunderland on the day!!! So the car parks were very busy getting out!