To enter the Simplyhealth Great North 10k click here

The date for the Simplyhealth Great North 10k 2018 has been announced.

The North East's biggest 10k running event will take place on Sunday 8th July 2018 and will mark the tenth staging of the event.

Introduced in 2009 as the sister event to the Simplyhealth Great North Run, the last decade has seen the event grow in size and status, with a record 5,500 entrants in 2017.

For the first two years of its life the event was staged in Sunderland, before moving to Gateshead, with the introduction of an iconic route showcasing the main cultural attractions along the Quayside including Sage Gateshead and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.

The route has proved to be a firm favourite with participants, giving them the opportunity to finish on the athletics track inside Gateshead International Stadium, with their family and friends watching from the stands.

The 10k welcomed two-hundred Gurkha recruits to the event for the first time in 2012. The soldiers completed the run as part of their British Army training, and they are now a fixture of the Simplyhealth Great North 10k, making the annual trip from Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire to take part.

In 2013 the event was named the official running event partner of the European Athletics Team Championships. The two-day competition was the first major athletics championships in the UK after London 2012, and thousands of Great North 10k participants finished their run on the morning of the second day of the competition.

Over the years, official starters have included South Shields FC, who fired the starting pistol just weeks after winning the FA Vase at Wembley in 2017, and Fog on the Tyne hit makers Lindisfarne, after a social media campaign saw the famous Simplyhealth Great North 10k hill renamed the Slog on the Tyne.

The introduction of a Great North Family Mile and Toddler Dash in 2016 saw the event grow even further, with over 500 children of all ages starting and finishing their run inside Gateshead International Stadium.

The event is the successor of the UK's first ever fun run, which took place in Gateshead in 1977, organised by Brendan Foster. The Sunday Times Fun Run in 1978 was widely thought to be the first of its kind in the UK, until 2013, when Foster found an old newspaper article in his home about a fun run that actually took place the previous year in Gateshead.

After a public call out to find participants of the event, three of the original Gateshead fun runners were on the start line at the 2013 Great North 10k.

Kerry Simpson, communications manager at The Great Run Company, said: “The last decade has seen the Great North 10k go from strength to strength. It is now firmly established on the North East's sporting events calendar and is a must-do event for many of those training for the Simplyhealth Great North Run in September.

“We're looking forward to seeing thousands of people celebrate as they cross the finish line inside Gateshead International Stadium this July.”

Commenting, Romana Abdin, CEO of Simplyhealth said: “This is Simplyhealth's second year as title partner and we're looking forward to welcoming everyone again as part of our #millionsmoving campaign.

“We have a passion and purpose that's all about helping people make the most of life through better everyday health, and know that movement and activity is the key.  If you're looking for advice and inspiration take a look at www.millionsmoving.co.uk.”

To enter the Simplyhealth Great North 10k click here