‘Team Spark’ taking on Sunderland City Runs challenge

Written by on 5th April 2022

Spark is excited to announce a collaboration with Sunderland City Runs, which will see five of its team taking part in the event over the weekend of 7/8 May.

Sparkies Grace McDonough, Martin Blair and Grace Daily will be entering the 5K run, while Lottie Steele and Tom Mortlock will be attempting the 10K. They will also be documenting their training progress with regular features both on air and on our website in the build-up, so keep an eye and an ear out!

Sunderland City Runs was first held back in 2011 with 1500 participants but is expected to welcome around 5000 runners to the city streets for this summer’s event just over 10 years later.

In addition to the Saturday evening 5K and Sunday morning 10K, half-marathon and family-friendly 3K events are also being staged across the weekend.

Sunderland City Runs Founder and Race Director Steve Cram spoke to Spark about his hopes and plans for this year’s event. You can listen to the full interview with Steve here.

Sunderland City Runs Founder and Race Director Steve Cram speaking to Spark’s Tom Mortlock

Our ‘Team Spark’ runners have each put together a short profile introducing themselves and detailing their reasons for taking on this challenge. Find out more about each of them below.

Grace McDonough

GRL Presenter and Thursday Hometime Producer Grace McDonough

Hi, I’m Grace! On Spark, I co-present on GRL and produce the Thursday Hometime show. I’ve been running on and off for about three years now. Recently it’s been more ‘off’ than ‘on’ and I have signed up for the Great North Run in September so I thought taking part in the Sunderland City Runs 5K was a good way to ease myself back in! I’m also really excited to get involved because I’ve been at the University of Sunderland for seven months now and I don’t know the city very well and I think running is one of the best ways to get to know somewhere you aren’t familiar with!

Martin Blair

The Harder House Sanctuary Presenter Martin Blair

Hi, I’m Martin! I’m 38 and from Aberdeen. I am currently a third-year student studying for a BA (Hons) degree in media (Radio) at the University of Sunderland. I like football and I used to play a lot of amateur football when I was younger. I play bass guitar in a band, and I love spinning the decks with dance music, hosting my own late-night dance show on Spark every Saturday night at 10pm.

I’m taking part in the 5K run because I really need to get myself fit again and I like a challenge. I want to make my family back home proud as well as raising more local awareness of Spark. I’m really looking forward to getting involved with this momentous event and getting to see some of the city sights that Sunderland has to offer, as well as meeting other runners who are getting involved in this event.

Grace Daily

Tuesday Breakfast Presenter Grace Daily

Hi, I’m Grace! I present Tuesday Breakfast and occasionally on Sport on Spark. I’ve not traditionally been much of a runner, but I’ve played football for pretty much my entire life so I’m hoping that’ll make the experience a bit easier! I’m taking part in the 5K to prove to myself that I can actually run a far distance, and I just kind of want the bragging rights too!

Lottie Steele

Head of Speech and Telling Tales and GRL Presenter Lottie Steele

Hi, I’m Lottie! I present Telling Tales and am the L of the GRL show on Spark. I’ve loved running for as long as I can remember but haven’t been doing much for the past year…so I’m keen to challenge myself by doing the Sunderland City 10K. I’m really excited to be taking on this challenge with my fellow Sparkies!

Tom Mortlock

Intern and Monday Lunchtime Presenter Tom Mortlock

Hi, I’m Tom! I’m the intern at Spark and I’m very excited to be having a go at this year’s 10K event! A few years ago, I used to be quite a keen runner and would regularly take part in 5K runs. I’ve also done a couple of 10Ks in the past, but these feel a while ago at the moment! I’ve let my participation in running and general fitness slip in the last two years, so now is definitely the right time to get back into it, with the motivation of having the Sunderland City Runs event to work towards.

You can find out more information about the event and sign up for any of the runs here.

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