Apprentice star Katie prepares to inspire new runners with Start Me Up For Sunderland

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One of the stars of BBC1’s The Apprentice is preparing to inspire the North East public to get fit in 2015 by focusing on an achievable running goal.  Katie Bulmer-Cooke, who provides fitness training to hundreds of people each week, is working with the organisers of this year’s Sunderland City 10K to help deliver Start Me Up For Sunderland, a free support programme for novice runners.

Start Me Up For Sunderland is designed for anyone who wants to lead a more active lifestyle, but doesn’t know where to start.  Through a combination of mentoring, easy group runs with qualified coaches and training tips, the programme will build confidence and prepare participants to be able to tackle events such as the Sunderland City 10K on Sunday 3 May.  Along with the Sunderland City Half Marathon, the 10K forms the Run Sunderland Festival, now in its fifth year and a partnership between event organiser DS Media & Events, Sunderland City Council and Sunderland Live.

Race Director Steve Cram sent us a message from Kenya to encourage all of you who are new to running to get involved with ‘Start me up’!

Katie Bulmer-Cooke comments:

“In terms of health statistics, the North East seems to be at the wrong end of too many league tables, yet when I’m out and about in the region I meet so many people who clearly want to improve their lifestyles, but need a nudge or two in the right direction and something to aim for.  A 10K run is definitely achievable for loads of people, given the right kind of encouragement and preparation, so Start Me Up For Sunderland is a brilliant idea and I’m really happy to get involved in the project.”

Among the runners who Katie Bulmer-Cooke will mentor is Ruth Nicholson, 36, from Sunderland, who will tackle this year’s Sunderland City 10K and has very strong motivations.  Ruth was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 27, but after a lumpectomy, six courses of chemotherapy and 15 doses of radiotherapy, she went into remission and has now been free of the disease for several years.  Ruth has never been a runner, but she is determined to tackle the 10K to raise money for cancer charities, to highlight that cancer can be beaten, and to encourage others to lead the kind of healthier lifestyles that could reduce the chances of suffering from serious illness.

Ruth Nicholson comments:

“I’ve certainly been through more than most at my age and it’s time to give something back.  I want to take part in the Sunderland City 10K to raise money for Macmillan and although I’ve never been a runner, with the right support I think that this distance is achievable.  Katie is already providing me with brilliant motivation and mentoring and Start Me Up For Sunderland is a great concept.  I really hope that this encourages loads more people to believe that they can run the 10K distance.  With this kind of backing, I’m sure that many can achieve that goal.”

Ruth Nicholson is one of a large number of runners who will take part in the Sunderland City Half Marathon or 10K to raise money for good causes.  The Run Sunderland Festival will announce a new initiative in the coming weeks, designed to help local, regional and national charities sign up runners for the events on 3 May.

Chris Alexander, chief operating officer at Sunderland Live, adds

“Start Me Up For Sunderland is a great way to make the Run Sunderland Festival more accessible for people who are looking to take part in this fantastic event for the first time.”

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