Close to 6,000 adults, toddlers and families enjoyed a grandstand finish inside the Gateshead International Stadium at the Simplyhealth Great North 10K on Sunday (9 July). Among the record-breaking field were 200 Gurkha recruits from Catterick Garrison who have become a highly popular and recognisable fixture at the event having now completed the race for six successive years.
Before the event got underway, a minute's applause was held for Bradley Lowery, the six-year-old Sunderland football supporter who sadly lost his battle with neuroblastoma on Friday. The course incorporated some of the North East’s most iconic landmarks, including Sage Gateshead, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.
After coming second at the event in 2014 and third one year later, Gateshead’s Matty Hynes recorded his first ever victory in 31:45, almost two minutes ahead of Saltwell Harriers’ Abraham Tewelde (33:42), with Hynes’ club-mate Conrad Franks third (33:52).
Hynes was clearly delighted to make the final step in the podium, saying: “It was a great race. I've had every position on the podium now and I'm really pleased to get the first. It's a brilliant course and the stadium is packed today so thanks to the crowd for cheering me over the finish line.”
Edinburgh AC’s Sarah Laverty was a comprehensive winner in the female field, crossing the line in 37:28. Michelle Nolan ensured Gateshead AC would have a podium presence in both competitions by taking second in 38:57, with Amy Pulman (39:08) in third.
On the race’s popularity in the region, Colin Murphy, project director at the Simplyhealth Great North 10K Gateshead, said: “2017 is another record year for the Simplyhealth Great North 10K Gateshead. The event is a special day in the region's running calendar, and the return of the Gurkhas once again made it a day to remember.”