Report from Liam Dunne:
I visited Sunderland for the Half Marathon of the North (MOTN).
This is the second year of the MOTN and the first year for the Half which also included a 10km and relay event.
The Half MOTN starts at the Stadium Of Light football ground alongside the marathon runners and follows the first half of the marathon route which winds it’s way around the city on what was suppose to be a fairly flat course.
Before the start there was a very stiff breeze swirling about and most competitors were sheltering just inside the stadium. I was hoping to get a pb but with the undulating and winding course as well as the wind, it was really difficult to settle into a relaxed pace and a pb was looking doubtful.
It appears there was some timing issues as some of the timing mats were not collecting data. I didn’t escape the problems and eventually I got an offical chip time of 76.49 for seventh position overall. However, it was a pb and had it not been for the strong winds it could have been a whole lot better.
Overall, it wasn’t the most charming of cities but support on the course was good, the drinks were plentiful and the start/finish venue, the Stadium Of Light, was impressive. probably a bit of a poor man’s GNR though!
Post Script – Afterwards it was discovered all apart from the Half Marathon winner Mark Hood ran a shorter distance by 264 metres – see report in the Sunderland Echo.