200 Gurkha Soldiers To Return To Great North 10K

Great Comeback 2

To enter the Simplyhealth Great North 10k, visit: Greatrun.org/North10k

The Gurkhas will once again be out in force at the Great North 10K Gateshead this year.

200 of the Nepalese soldiers, based at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire, will take part in the North-East's biggest 10k on Sunday 8 July.

The 10k is celebrating its 10th anniversary and is the sister event to the Simplyhealth Great North Run. 5,000 runners are expected to take on the challenge and cross the finish line on the athletics track inside Gateshead International Stadium in less than two weeks' time.

The Gurkhas are a fixture of the 6.2-mile event, with this year's staging representing their seventh outing in Gateshead. Currently undergoing a 39-week training course, the event is a key part of their fitness training and introduces them to the UK as part of their cultural orientation programme.

Sgt Dipesh Rai said: “We feel very proud to be taking part in the Simplyhealth Great North 10K once again. We are looking forward to it because we will gain a new experience helping us to enhance camaraderie and sportsmanship.

“It's a really good event for the recruits to join the Gurkha training team and enjoy such a big day of sport in the region.

“The atmosphere is always brilliant and it's a good time of year weather-wise. The support that you get from spectators is something that makes us excited to come back once again.

“The Gurkhas are coming – Aayo Gurkhali!”

Kerry Simpson, communications manager at The Great Run Company, said: “This is the seventh year that we have welcomed the Gurkhas to the Simplyhealth Great North 10k and we are delighted that they have once again chosen this event to continue their training.

“The participants always get behind the soldiers and love running alongside them, and we're sure that this year will be no different.”

Participants can be their greatest at the event by completing a 10k course that takes in iconic landmarks on the NewcastleGateshead Quayside including concert venue Sage Gateshead, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.

The run finishes in Gateshead International Stadium, the location of Britain's first-ever fun run.

Organised for Gateshead Council by Brendan Foster, chairman of the Great Run Company, the 1977 Gateshead Fun Run was a two-mile event which started and finished on the track.

To enter the Simplyhealth Great North 10k, visit: Greatrun.org/North10k