Blue Runnings

Race Reviews, GPX files and more from North-East England

Sunderland 10k 2017

on 8 May 2017

I last (and first!) ran this race in 2015 when it had a slightly different route starting and finished at the Stadium of Light. It was absolutely bucketing it down and J & I were soaked in our bin bags before we’d even got from the car park to the stadium! It was very quickly clear (or not) that I was wasting my time trying to see with my glasses on, they were pocketed and I saw very little of Sunderland. I remember the grey wall of a battleship thing and the waves crashing over the walls at the seafront at Roker and lots of soggy clothes. J enjoyed it enough to go back again last year, when I opted for donning my Terrible Photographer hat and stalking her and some of the Bounders round the course.

This year, I can happily say that we were onto a winner right from the off in that it wasn’t bucketing it down with rain before we’d even got there. We had some new company in the form of A & G this year and a merry bunch we made on the way into Sunderland.

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You got free stuff before the race even started for this one – the race pack included a buff so there were many people wearing them around the course. There was a competition to win a watch for the most inventive donning of said buff; none of us were partaking but I definitely think Ms Rosie was in with a shot 🙂

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The first 3k of this route take you round the city centre – quite built up and running on roads, but there’s not many cars around at 10am on a Sunday morning and all the roads were fully cordoned off exclusively for runners’ use – which was good because there were hundreds just in the 10k and the roads were full – it took a few km for us all to space out a bit more.

J was testing a knee injury from the Washington Trail 10k a fortnight before and it was very quickly clear that she was fine as she’d gone from maybe ‘taking it easy staying with me’ to me puffing along trying to keep up with her… I committed myself to 5k with her before dropping back as that wasn’t a pace I was going to be able to do the same distance again at and cross the finish line in one piece… As expected, G & A were nowhere in sight from about the 500 yard marker…

Once you’ve done the town-centre squiggles, you come back across Wearmouth Bridge – I love crossing big bridges as part of races, for some reason it makes me feel like I’ve achieved something – and then you’re onto the docks and following the river down to the sea. The sun came out the same time as the area opened out and you go from tall, closed-in buildings and bollard-dodging to a big open river space on the right and grass and statues on the left – like a breath of fresh air.EventPhotoHandler.ashxI really enjoy how much time you spend on the water’s edge for this one – you go along the river, then past the marina and the lifeboat station before going down to the coast proper – and you can tell when you’ve reached it because of the refreshing spray that hits you when you go round the corner to Roker! Just what you need when you’ve been puffing along in the sun 😉

From Roker seafront you go up and round the park – on the map it looks like a straight forward loop round and back down again but when you’re there it feels like you’ve gone zigzagged back and forth that by the time I’d reached the top I had no idea in which direction the sea was until I got to the main road back to Sunderland. There’s about 3k between rejoining the road at Roker and the finish line, and you can see far enough ahead to be aware of eating away at the distance, but to make it up to the 10k back at the start at Keel Square, there’s a mean little dog leg round the church which must add 0.5km on before you really are heading back to the big bridge again.

The slightly mean thing with this race, is that the last half a km to the finish is all uphill – not necessarily hugely steep but quite long, and for me after keeping up with J for the first half, a sprint finish was not in the shoes!

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There’s loads of marshalls and waterstations on the course – I think they must have been approximately every 2km for water. They had these odd water bags which were sealed until you either sucked on the mouthpiece thing or squeezed them really hard – comfy to run with and cuts down on packaging too 😉

There’s normally a good loot bag for this one and this year was no exception. The medals are really nice and there were plenty of things to munch in the bag (except for the suncream – don’t eat that!).

All in all, a good day had by all!

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Route Map

You can download the GPX file for the route from my Dropbox folder by following the link below:

GPX Route File for Sunderland 10k 2017

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