2018 will mark the tenth staging of the Simplyhealth Great North 10k. From international athletics events to Olympic champions to Gurkha soldiers… we take a look at our 10 favourite memories and highlights of the North East’s biggest 10k running event.
1. The Gurkhas
After six years, the Gurkha recruits are now a firm favourite at the event, with over 200 soldiers making the journey from Catterick Garrison to run the 10k every year. In 2015 they ran for the Nepal Earthquake Response Fund, which was set up following two devastating earthquakes in Nepal earlier that year.
2. The champion
World and Olympic Marathon Champion Stephen Kiprotich pounded the pavements of Gateshead in 2014 as a training run ahead of the Great North Run. As expected, he stormed over the line in 29:39 to take the top spot on the podium, and even had time to mingle with the Gurkhas!
3. The family run
In 2016, the very first Great North Family Run and Toddler Dash took place, with over 500 children of all ages and abilities starting and finishing inside Gateshead International Stadium.
4. The first year
You might not know this, but the Simplyhealth Great North 10k spent its first two years in Sunderland before moving to Gateshead in 2011.
5. The breakfast presenter
BBC Breakfast presenter and Boro lass Steph McGovern laced up her trainers and took on the 10k back in 2014. She was also honorary starter, setting thousands of runners on their way.
6. The European Athletics Team Championships
In 2013 the Great North 10k was named the official running event partner of the European Athletics Team Championships, which was the first major athletics championship to take place in the UK after London 2012. Thousands of runners finished the 10k on the track in Gateshead International Stadium on the morning of the second day of the competition.
7. The fun runners
It is widely thought that the UK’s first fun run took place in September 1978, until a few years ago when Brendan Foster found an old newspaper article in his home about a fun run that actually took place earlier in the same year… in Gateshead! After a public call out, three of the original Gateshead fun runners were on the start line at the 2013 Great North 10k.
8. The Mariners
After a stunning victory at Wembley which saw South Shields FC win the FA Vase, they returned to the sporting stage just weeks later, to be honorary starters of the Simplyhealth Great North 10k 2017… and they brought the FA Vase with them!
9. The stadium finish
A highlight of the Simplyhealth Great North 10k course is finishing inside the iconic Gateshead International Stadium, on the very track that has seen world records broken by the likes of Brendan Foster and Asafa Powell.
10. The hill
After a campaign to name the infamous incline towards the end of the 10k course, Slog on the Tyne was victorious. So who better to make it official than local lads and Fog on the Tyne hit-makers Lindisfarne. The band was on the start line in 2016, setting the runners on their way.
To enter the Simplyhealth Great North 10k click here