Know what to expect – your Great North 10k Route

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If you’re a Newcastle native, you’ll know that it’s a seriously good-looking city, famous for its bridges and the way neoclassical architecture and sleek modern builds sit comfortably side by side. And the best way to experience this jewel of the North? Yep, you’ve guessed it – by running it, of course!

Our great north 10k route is a runner’s delight, taking you around the edge of the city centre before pacing across the iconic Tyne Bridge. Then you’ll loop back, heading right into the city’s beating heart with some twists and turns along the way, before finishing up with a stretch in the city’s green oasis, the Town Moor.

That’s just a quick overview, though – really knowing your route is critical to enjoying it. So read on for a more detailed run-down of what to expect from the mighty Great North 10k – and how to train accordingly.

Great North 10k – get route ready

Our first top-tip is really simple – take a close look at the Great North 10k route map here (if you select ‘download’ you’ll see it even more clearly). You’ll also get a nudge before the big day when you receive your pre-event emails.

Here’s our quick explainer, though:

  • The route starts on the central motorway next to Claremont Road on the edge of the Town Moor, and finishes a short distance away on the Town Moor itself. The first two kilometres are fairly straightforward road running, and there’s even a slight decline to help you along.
  • Kilometres 4-7 are twisty, taking you through the city centre and past landmarks like Grey’s Monument, the Laing Art Gallery and Northumbria University – and they also feature a bit of an incline, so prepare to work harder here.
  • Then things flatten – and straighten – off for your final couple of kilometres, with an out and back on the Great North Road before the final leg onto the Town Moor towards the finish.

In short, it’s a bit of a sandwich – an easy, straight couple of kilometres, a more challenging (but scenic) central section, and then an easier couple of final kms as you race towards the finish.

Route need-to-knows and training tips

  • Long, straight stretches. The Great North 10k features some solid stretches of fairly steady road running, especially at the beginning and towards the end. These should form the basis of your training schedule – and, if you’re looking for a PB, these are the points where you need to try to push yourself.
  • Inclines and declines. From the 3.5km point to 8km, the route elevation steadily inclines – so be ready for it. Hill training is essential if you want to feel strong and speedy rather than struggling through this tougher mid-section, and interval training will help provide a much-needed boost, too. Remember: your final 2km is pretty flat – time to max out those effort levels!
  • Know your markers. We’ve talked about physical preparation and training, but what about the mental side of things? Knowing what you’re going to see and what’s coming next can be just the pep talk you need on race day. Spotted Grey’s Monument? You’re halfway through! Past the Civic Centre? Just 3km to go!

Other hints and hacks:

  • Make sure there are no excuses when it comes to training. Running pals come with running accountability – and there’s a whole range of North East running clubs to choose from where you can find ready-made running mates.
  • We’d advise doing some training in an urban environment for a race that involves lots of road and city centre running, but that also means staying safe, being visible and running with respect for others. Wear high-vis or brightly-coloured clothing, keep an eye out for traffic and be mindful of other footpath users.

Find out more – and enter – the Great North 10k here. Happy running!

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