Athletes from the World Transplant Games, 200 Gurkha soldiers and a host of charity fundraisers were among the thousands of runners at the Simplyhealth Great North 10k Gateshead today, 7 July.

The North East's biggest 10k run saw 5,000 participants pound the pavements of Gateshead joined by athletes who are preparing for the World Transplant Games, which will be held in Gateshead and Newcastle this summer

The 10k route took the runners along the scenic Gateshead Quays, passing Sage Gateshead, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.

The route also passed under the Tyne Bridge, an iconic feature of its sister event, the Simplyhealth Great North Run.

Participants crossed the finish line on the track inside the famous Gateshead International Stadium, with their family and friends cheering from the stands.

The first male athlete across the line was James McKenzie, who sprinted home in a time of 33:11, closely contested by Sparrow Morely of the Tynebridge Harriers who took second in a time of 33:44, with Dean Williams from Colchester clinching third in 34:04.

In the women’s race, Ashley Gibson claimed victory in 35:40, more than two minutes ahead of Hannah Wood from the Low Fell Running Club who followed her across the line in 38:06. Third place was claimed by Laura Havis in 42:30.

Young runners and their families enjoyed the Simplyhealth Great North Family Run in the afternoon. The sun broke through the clouds just in time for the families to enjoy a 1 mile run around Gateshead International Stadium, with their very own grandstand finish line moment on the famous track inside the stadium.

Kate Thornton, Chief Customer Officer at Simplyhealth said: “The Simplyhealth Great North 10k and Family Run have been amazing!  It was truly inspiring to see so many runners of all ages and ability, taking on the challenge. We’re proud to be supporting people every step of the way to help them maintain better health through being more active."

The 2020 Great North 10k Gateshead will be held on Sunday 28 June, the same date that the first ever Great North Run took place in 1981. Entries are open now and next year’s event will be even more special as it will kick start celebrations for the 40th Great North Run in September.

To join the festivities by entering the 2020 Great North 10k, visit greatrun.org/north10k