With New Year resolutions to get active still in mind, entries are already open for this year's Active Sunderland BIG 3K Run.
Now in its third year, this annual event takes runners of all ages and abilities along the same closed city centre roads as the10K and half marathon, with those taking part sharing the same 'big race experience' as the other competitors.
The Active Sunderland BIG 3K on 12 May starts at 9am and uses the same start and finish line in Keel Square as the events in 'Sunderland City Runs’ programme which begins later that morning.
Early online entries for the BIG 3K run will be discounted, but everyone taking part in the event will receive a t-shirt, medal and goody bag as both a reward and reminder of their exertions.
Sunderland City Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture, Councillor John Kelly, said: “The Active Sunderland BIG 3K Run is a fantastic opportunity for everyone to get involved in a family running event as part of the 'Sunderland City Runs' weekend.
"It's the chance for everybody, children and families, to share the big race experience in our city centre roared on by spectators.
"To help we can provide beginner runners in all the events with some online training plans, and there are activity apps to help them monitor their progress.”
Councillor Kelly added: "Starting to exercise on a more regular basis increases your energy levels, helps with weight loss and helps make you feel healthier and happier with running a great way to begin.”
Already training to take part in this year's BIG 3K Run are the children, and adults, at Dame Dorothy School in Dock Street, Sunderland.
Headteacher Iain Williamson said: "Last year was our first time taking part in the BIG 3K run as a school, and we’re hoping to involve parents and staff this year as part of our inclusive drive to promote health and well-being.
"Daily running exercise is very much part of the curriculum at our school, with all classes encouraged to run for at least five minutes every day during lesson time.
"The running club meets once a week at lunchtime to train the most enthusiastic runners on our outdoor track, and entering events such as this outside of school provides great encouragement and motivation.”
One of the members of the school running club Ben, 9, added: “It’s a great achievement to be running this 3K with Dame Dorothy, I love running and also became a member of Sunderland Harriers.”
There is also a new addition to this year’s Sunderland City Runs weekend, with the first ‘Sunderland City 5K’ starting and finishing on the Northern Spire early Saturday evening 11 May.
Spokesperson for organisers of the Sunderland City 5K ‘Events of the North’ and founder of the new run, North East athletics legend Steve Cram, said: “The weekend will be a great opportunity for runners of all ages and abilities and a very exciting schedule of events in Sunderland.”
To find out more about the Sunderland City 5K, 10K and Half Marathon and to enter online click here