For the second year running, a record number of participants will take on the Simplyhealth Great North 10k Gateshead this weekend.
The North East’s biggest 10k returns on Sunday 9 July, with over 5,000 people running for fun, fitness and fundraising.
After a stunning victory at Wembley in May which saw them win the FA Vase, South Shields FC will make a return to the sporting stage as honorary starters of the 10k.
The Mariners will set the thousands of runners on their way, to take on a scenic course that passes Sage Gateshead, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.
The route also passes under the Tyne Bridge, an iconic feature of its sister event, the Simplyhealth Great North Run.
Participants cross the finish line on the track in the famous Gateshead International Stadium, with their family and friends able to cheer on from the stands.
Meanwhile, the Gurkhas will once again be out in force. Around 200 of the Nepalese soldiers, based at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire, will run as part of their fitness training.
The Toddler Dash and Family Run, which were introduced in 2016, reached capacity last week, with children as young as one taking on their first running event inside Gateshead International Stadium.
Over 100 children up to the age of three will take part in the 70 metres Toddler Dash on the athletics track, and over 400 people will tackle a one mile route around the stadium in the Family Run.
David Hart, Communications Director at the Great Run Company, said: “The Simplyhealth Great North 10k Gateshead continues to grow, and is now a firm favourite the North East’s running calendar, with many people using it as training for the Simplyhealth Great North Run just nine weeks later.
“The family events are a stepping stone for runners of the future, and Gateshead International Stadium provides the perfect setting.”
Commenting, Raman Sankaran, Chief Commercial Officer for Simplyhealth, said: “As title partner of the Simplyhealth Great North 10k Gateshead, we have one simple aim to get #millionsmoving. Whether its the10k, toddler dash or the family run we’re delighted to see so many runners of all ages and abilities taking part and we’ll be cheering you on every step of the way.”
Gateshead Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure, Councillor John McElroy, said: “Gateshead has a long established reputation for hosting major sporting events and we are delighted that the Great North 10k Gateshead continues to go from strength to strength.
“The introduction last year of the Toddler Dash and the Family Run is fantastic as it enables families to enjoy getting active together and inspires a future generation of runners.
“We look forward to welcoming everyone over the finish line at Gateshead International Stadium.”