After the success of the inaugural Sunderland City 10k, organisers have set a date and opened entries for the first ever Marathon of the North. Taking place on May 6, 2012, the race will start and finish at the Stadium of Light and will be part of a busy weekend that incorporates the Junior Run and the Sunderland City 10K race.
With runners departing the stadium on the north bank of the River Wear, the marathon route follows the first few km's of the 10k course. A circuit of the picturesque Barnes Park leads to the half-way point before runners heard back across Monkwearmouth Bridge for the final 10 miles that boasts the river and coastline as welcome companions. The course is said to be predominantly flat with few noticeable gradients.
The Sunderland City 10K drew in over 1,500 competitors with Ian Hudspith and Sonia Samuels winning in their respective fields. After such positive feedback, organisers were keen to add a road marathon to the northeast region and are expecting to attract participants from far and wide.
The event is co-ordinated by former international athlete and Olympic medallist Steve Cram and founder of the Great North Run, David Roberts. Steve commented: "It's a big year for sport in the UK, and we want to be part of that. Part of the reason we wanted to call it the Marathon of the North is so that people from as far down as Leeds and York might want get involved."
Organisers have set an introductory price of £30 for the all entries made before Wednesday, November 30. In addition, the event will be running an Athletic Club Challenge that requires each club to enter a junior athlete, four 10k runners, and one in the Marathon of the North. The lowest cumulative time for the six club runners will be hailed Sunderland City Club Challenge Champions and will receive £500.
The provisional start date has been set for 9.15am on May 6. Online entry can be made at the event website.