Over two hundred Gurkha soldiers will run the Morrisons Great North 10k this July, in aid of the relief fund set up following two devastating earthquakes in Nepal earlier this year.
The soldiers, based in Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire, will take part in the 10k run on Sunday, July 5 for the Nepal Earthquake Response Fund, supporting the ongoing recovery efforts in their homeland.
The 10k is the sister event to the Morrisons Great North Run, Britain’s biggest running event, and will see up to five-thousand runners cross the finish line on the athletics track inside Gateshead International Stadium.
Around two hundred Gurkha recruits will travel to Gateshead for the run, which is the biggest 10k in the North East. Currently undergoing a thirty-nine 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.
Captain Autar Shrestha, of Gurkha Company said: “The Morrisons Great North 10k provides us with a sound platform to raise awareness of the devastating Nepal earthquakes to the local public and seek their support to help alleviate relief efforts.
“Sadly, the earthquakes have taken many thousands of innocent lives, destroyed homes and flattened ancient sites in various parts of the country. In such difficult times and not being able to go home, it is only natural for Nepalese people to want to help in every possible way.
“It will be a great opportunity for the Gurkhas to do something. At the event we look forward to selling some Nepali food and selected Gurkha Regiment items to the general public and collect any kind donations.
He continued, “This bicentenary year commemorating Gurkhas’ service to the British Crown means a significant history built on loyalty, trust and sacrifices of our forefathers. The Gurkhas sincerely honour the British public for their love and admiration received over the past 200 years.”
David Hart, communications director at The Great Run Company said: “This is the fourth year that we have welcomed the Gurkhas to the Morrisons Great North 10k, but this year is particularly important to them, as they are raising money for the Nepal Earthquake Response Fund.
“The involvement of the Gurkhas is one of the high points of the event. They are hugely enthusiastic and also generally very competent runners."
Now in its seventh year, the Morrisons Great North 10k takes in iconic landmarks on the NewcastleGateshead Quayside including concert venue Sage Gateshead, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.
As well as running the 10k, the Brigade of Gurkhas will also sell traditional Nepalese food in the event village, with all funds going towards the Nepal Earthquake Response Fund.