National XC – Herrington Country Park

THOUSANDS OF THE COUNTRY’S FINEST RUNNERS are expected to line up at Herrington Country Park next February for the National Cross Country Championships.

Sunderland City Council and the English Cross Country Association (ECCA) are working together to stage the 2013 English Cross Country Championships at the park on Saturday 23 February 2013.

The event was last hosted in Sunderland in 2007, and organisers hope to build on that success and that of this year’s championships held at Parliament Hill Fields in London, which attracted more than 4000 competitors and an equal number of spectators.

The 350 acre site at Herrington Country Park will host a ten race programme, with male and female races for five age groups from the Under 13s through to Seniors.

The climax of the day will be the potentially 1,500 strong Senior Men’s race with its spectacular start from a 100 metre wide starting area.

Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, Councillor John Kelly said: “We are all delighted that the English Cross Country Association has decided to return to the city to host the 2013 national championships.

“Their decision not only shows their confidence in Sunderland’s proven ability to stage high profile sporting and cultural events, but also in the strength and enthusiasm of the local athletic and sporting community to support the event”.

” We all look forward to welcoming competitors, spectators and visitors from across the country to take part, and the chance to show everyone again on the national stage what a fantastic venue Sunderland provides.”

John Temperton, Chairman of the English Cross Country Association added: “The support provided by Sunderland City Council backed up by the volunteer workforce from Sunderland Harriers and other local clubs, assisted the delivery of an outstandingly successful championship in 2007 and we look forward to working with the same teams in 2013.

” There seems to be a mistaken belief in the running community in the south of England that it’s further from London to Sunderland than it is from Sunderland to London and we will work with the City Council to persuade a greater proportion to travel north on this occasion.”