A host of Olympic stars, including gold medallists Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford, will compete in this weekend's European Athletics Team Championships in Gateshead. The event will mark an eventful day for athletics in the north east, with the Great North 10K taking place on Sunday morning.
The two-day competition is one of the first major athletics events in the UK after London 2012 and will see more than 600 athletes from 12 countries battling to become European Team Champions. Farah, set to compete in the 5000m, will be looking to prepare for his World title defence in Moscow later this summer.
The double Olympic champion will be joined by silver medallist Christine Ohuruogu and bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz. Also named in the team is the reigning World 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene, double European Indoor Champion Perri Shakes-Drayton, European Indoor gold medallist Holly Bleasdale and reigning World 1500m silver medallist Hannah England.
Sunday's Great North 10K, which is expected to draw in a field of 5,000 competitors, takes in iconic landmarks on the quayside including The Sage Gateshead, Gateshead Millennium Bridge and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, before crossing the finish line inside Gateshead International Stadium.
Gemma Steel, fresh from a strong third place finish at the Oakley New York Mini 10K, has confirmed she will be defending her title at the Great North 10K. The Charnwood Harrier consolidated her status as one of the top UK runners by defeating Japan's Akiko Matsuyama in last year's race. Alongside her performance in New York, Steel was the top domestic finisher against a high-quality international field at the recent Great Manchester Run.
On her recent success, she commented: "Yes I am surprised how well I have done, particularly as I didn't start racing seriously until comparatively late. I cannot believe how my career has just taken off. Now I'm looking forward to coming back and taking part in the Bupa Great North 10K, a distance which is one of my favourites."
Entries for the event are still open and cost £25. More information is available here.