Sign up to run with Hugh by visiting Greatrun.org/North5k and selecting the Newcastle Can wave.

TV chef and campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall will take on a running challenge at this year's Simplyhealth Great North 5k as part of his Newcastle Can initiative which aims to help Newcastle live a healthier and more active lifestyle.

River Cottage star Hugh will run the 5k, which takes place on the NewcastleGateshead Quayside on Saturday 9 September, kicking off the Simplyhealth Great North Run weekend.

With the ultimate goal of getting Newcastle to collectively lose 100,000lbs, the Newcastle Can initiative is on a mission to get communities throughout the city working together to change the way they live, work and play, and help make Newcastle the healthiest, happiest city it can be.

Runners of the Simplyhealth Great North 5k have the exciting opportunity to join Hugh in a special ‘Newcastle Can wave' at the biggest sporting weekend in the North East.

Participants can simply select if they wish to be a part of the Newcastle Can wave when entering the Simplyhealth Great North 10k via the online entry form.

They will be given their own start with Hugh at the event, which takes participants on a scenic tour of the Quayside, crossing the Swing Bridge and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, before returning to the Newcastle side.

Runners will be able to receive updates from Hugh and the Newcastle Can team, including nutritious recipes and information on how training is going.

Hugh is encouraging runners, joggers and walkers to sign up and join him on his challenge to help Newcastle Can reach its grand total.

He will also be taking part in a Q&A at the Barilla Pasta Party on event day.

Hugh said: “I've signed up to run the amazing Simplyhealth Great North 5k as part of my Newcastle Can initiative.

“This is all about making Newcastle a healthier, fitter city. I'd really love people to join the campaign and I'd love participsnts to run with me on the day as part of the Newcastle Can wave.

“I know it is going to be a brilliant day and one way or another we'll help each other across that finish line and show the rest of the UK, that Newcastle Can!”

Every year, 1,000 runners kick off the Simplyhealth Great North Run weekend by taking on the Simplyhealth Great North 5k.

This popular shorter distance run is perfect for runners, joggers and walkers, who take in the iconic sights of the River Tyne, with views of the Sage Gateshead, the Tyne Bridge and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.

The last kilometre gives runners the chance to run over the Gateshead Millennium Bridge before the final straight back on the Newcastle side.

David Hart, Communications Director at the Great Run Company, said: “It's great to know that Hugh is going to be involved in the biggest sporting weekend in the North East.”

Entries for the Simplyhealth Great North 5k are now open.

Sign up to run with Hugh by visiting Greatrun.org/North5k and selecting the Newcastle Can wave.

Join Newcastle Can by visiting www.newcastlecan.com.