Sunderland Half Marathon Race Report 2018

Sunderland Half Marathon Race Report

Having grew up in the North East of England I love to travel back. Any chance to travel back up North is an opportunity that I don’t pass up on. A chance to see familiar sights and iconic landmarks as well as spend some time with family. This is my Sunderland Half Marathon Race Report.

With over 4,000 runners participating in this years Half Marathon with some notable spectators including the Mayor of Sunderland. It was a very tough and hilly course with a slight bit of wind along the seafront. Overall it was good weather.

Race information


Goal Description Completed?
A 1:40 hours No
B 1:50 hours Yes
C 2:00 hours Yes


Mile Time
1 7:28
2 7:25
3 7:43
4 7:46
5 7:53
6 7:59
7 8:02
8 8:23
9 8:01
10 9:38
11 10:14
12 8:42
13 8:50


I have been training slowly over winter and taking my runs very easy. To prevent injury I started to increase my training load in February using a typical Hal Higdon Half Marathon plan. This was to get a solid base and build up to a long run of 10 mile. Training started well but in the later few weeks I started developing knee pain. The knee pain made me slow down my training and reduce my millage.

If I wasnt injured I believe training would have gone a lot better and more speed work could have been incorporated to practice what it feels like to run at HM Race pace. However I like putting together race reports after each race as it is a chance to reflect on the race and identify where improvements can be made. Which is why I have put together a Sunderland Half Marathon race report.

Race Strategy

Since this was my first time running this race I was unsure of the elevation, which I can now confirm is quite hilly. My initial race strategy was to finish in 1:40 which would be an ambitious time but I know it can be achieved.

To run my goal time I would need an average pace of 7:38 which I was on track for until the half way mark which is when my race went downhill. I will explain more below.


The weather was forecast for rain but the morning of the race this had changed to only cloud which was a massive bonus. I woke up had my usual weetabix and a glass of water and got ready for the race. We arrived with plenty of time to spare and had a little warm up before the race was started. I have an article on how to warm up before a run which you might find useful.

Miles 1-3

The race started in the City Centre and my initial pace was really good I was on track for my goal pace and managed to maintain the pace feeling strong weaving around the City Centre where the crowd were gathering to cheer everyone on.

Miles 4-6

Still feeling strong I was settling into a comfortable pace but was starting to feel some niggles in my knee when going up the hills. It didn’t worry me at this point but knew something in my knee wasn’t right but I managed to keep my pace maintained and went into the half way point in 48:43. This pace was ahead of my goal pace which would have been 50:00 at the half for a 1:40 finish.

Miles 7-9

After tackling a big hill after the half way mark my knee was really starting to give me trouble so I slowly reduced my pace to see if it would hold out for the race and I could still sneak into the 1:40 bracket as I had banked a small window of time at the beginning of the race.

Miles 10-12

In training my longest run was 10 mile I knew the race would start to get tough at this point. My knee was really causing me problems at this point so much so that I had to stop multiple times to try and stretch out and try recompose myself to run again. After each stop my pace progressively got slower and it got harder to get going again. As a result these stops made my goal of 1:40 slip away.

Mile 13.1 and The Finish of My Sunderland Half Marathon Race Report

By this point my knee was really causing problems and it was really a struggle to get to the finish line. You can check out my article about running exercises here but now back to the sunderland half marathon race report. I managed to pull some strength together and finish with a total time of 1:48:10. Although it was 8:10 minutes slower than my target I was still pleased with my overall time considering the obstacle I faced.

What’s Next?

Whats next for me? Firstly I want to try and improve my knee injury with lots of strength exercises followed by rest. Once I feel my injury has recovered, I will slowly start running again with the goal of improving my time and reaching that sub 1:40 Half Marathon goal. Hopefully you have enjoyed my Sunderland Half Marathon race report and will consider running this race in the future.


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