The North East is arguably the running capital of the UK. A series of high profile events, an amazing club structure, superb facilities and a heritage that includes iconic names like Cram and Foster creates a local DNA with a huge running focus.
September's Simplyhealth Great North Run is rightly at the pinnacle of the regional race programme but July's Simplyhealth Great North 10K is an event with a character all of its own as well as being a top prep race for the classic autumn half marathon.
The Simplyhealth Great North 10K attracts a huge field of 5,000 plus to a spectacular riverside route and a memorable grandstand finish on the track at the famous Gateshead International Stadium. Runners pass under the Tyne Bridge and head along to the Sage Gateshead and BALTIC before bending back along the Quayside and the iconic finish.
One runner who loves the Simplyhealth Great North 10K is GB international and Great Run regular Gemma Steel. After her victory last year she said: "Enjoyed the Great North 10K today. Loved being part of the fantastic atmosphere once again and winning the 10th anniversary of the race for the third time makes it extra special.
"The course doesn’t get any easier but grateful to have Brendan Foster cheering us on the Slog on the Tyne uphill section of the course.”
Another regular Simplyhealth Great North 10K sight is the colourful band of Gurkas who take part every year. They make the trip from Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire for the race as part of their training and they always raise an extra loud cheer from the thousands of spectators who line the route and pack Gateshead Stadium for the finish.
Around half the Simplyhealth Great North 10K entrants will be involved in the Simplyhealth Great North Run two month's later and it's a timely opportunity to test your training and your splits ahead of the big half marathon on 8 September. However for thousands of recreational runners the Simplyhealth Great North 10K is the pinnacle with the chance to enjoy the big race atmosphere at the highly achievable 10k distance.
Simplyhealth Great North 10K race day - Sunday 7 July - also sees a family-friendly 1 mile run. The Simplyhealth Great North Family Run gives kids the chance to experience their own finish line moment and wear their medals with pride just like Mum and Dad.
For full details of the Simplyhealth Great North 10K visit the event website.