A major new running event is coming to Stockton-on-Tees this September and entries are now open.
The Simplyhealth Great Tees 10k takes place on Saturday 8 September as part of the Simplyhealth Great North Run weekend.
The 10k event will be joined in the Borough by the Great North CityGames Elite Mile race, which is relocating from NewcastleGateshead for the first time.
There'll also be the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great Tees Run, which offers courses of 2k and 4k that give children aged three to 14-years-old the chance to get involved.
All routes will hug the banks of the Tees, with the 10k route taking in iconic landmarks such as the Infinity Bridge and Newport Bridge.
The event is being brought to the Borough thanks to a new partnership formed between Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and the Great Run Company, who are the organisation behind the UK's leading mass participation series, including the world's biggest half marathon, the Simplyhealth Great North Run.
Council Leader, Councillor Bob Cook, said: “This is a huge coup! We are very proud to be bringing a Great Run event to Stockton-on-Tees and are looking forward to welcoming thousands of runners and spectators to the Borough in September.
“The Great Run Company is a globally renowned brand and this will see us join the likes of London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Dublin in hosting one of the company's successful large scale, mass participation running events
“And the Simplyhealth Great Tees 10k takes place just a day before the biggest of them all – the Simplyhealth Great North Run – so this promises to be a memorable weekend for the North East region as a whole.
“It's going to bring so many benefits. As well as raising our profile it will provide a major economic boost to the area, encourage exercise and raise lots of money for charities.
“I'm particularly looking forward to the Elite Mile, which will give people the chance to see world class athletes competing here and will be broadcast to a huge television audience, putting us well and truly in the spotlight.
“We're delighted to be working in partnership with the Great Run Company and hope we can bring further events in the coming years to complement existing favourites like SIRF and the Cycling Festival.
“We're proud that there's always something going on in the Borough the judging by the programme of events for 2018 it already looks like it's going to be one of our best years ever!”
The Great Run Company's Chief Executive, Paul Foster, added: “We are thrilled to be able to bring the Great Run series to Stockton-on-Tees.
“Great Run is all about getting people active and the Simplyhealth Great Tees 10k and the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great Tees Run give even more people the opportunity to take part in the North East's biggest weekend of sport.
“Our partners, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, have been determined to bring these events here, and together we're looking forward to welcoming thousands of families to this vibrant Borough to take part and to watch in September.”
The event was launched in Stockton High Street today, with Councillor Cook and Mr Foster being joined by Stockton's very own world champion athlete, Richard Kilty.
Richard, aka ‘The Teesside Tornado', said: “It's really exciting – bringing an event with this kind of profile is going to do so much for the area.
“As it happens, I've done loads of training down on the riverside over the years. In fact, my first session after winning the gold at the World Indoor Championships was on the Infinity Bridge and it's going to be a great setting for these events.
“I'm really looking forward to it because it's going to bring people together. You've got the Elite Mile full of world-class athletes plus a 10k, Mini and Junior events so there really is something that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy.”
Hugging the banks of the famous River Tees, the Simplyhealth Great Tees 10k follows a flat, closed road course that starts and finishes on Riverside Road, close to Princess of Wales Bridge.
The course starts on the river's north side and takes in some of Stockton-on-Tees' most famous sights, including the iconic Infinity Bridge and Tees Barrage.
You will then cross the historic Tees Newport Bridge and travel back on the south side of the river along the Maze Park Nature Reserve, before passing Durham University's waterfront Queen's Campus.
On your final kilometre you will cross the Tees once more – this time via the Millennium Footbridge – before crossing the finish line on the Riverside.
Both of the Junior Mini routes start on Riverside Road, lining up in the same place as 1,000 others for the Great Tees 10k later in the day.
Young runners will travel along the north side of the River Tees, with the Mini runners turning right to cross the Infinity Bridge while Junior runners continue on and cross the river at the Tees Barrage.
Entries are now open – for full details of run routes and how to enter, visit: Greatrun.org/Tees10k