Excitement is mounting ahead of next month's Simplyhealth Great North 10K when 5,000 will enjoy a landmark-packed Tyneside route before a memorable grandstand finish on the track at the famous Gateshead International Stadium.
For most of the big field the riverside 10k is the highlight of their running year possibly their baptism at the distance. In addition many entrants for September's Great North Run will test their progress at this local favourite and in particular on the Slog on the Tyne uphill section.
However it is the participants at the World Transplant Games (WTG), coming to Newcastle and Gateshead in August, who have been generating the publicity. Runners like Gill Childs who in 2010 donated a kidney to her son Ryan, then aged 15. Sporty Ryan now has his sights set on a gold in field events at the World Transplant Games.
Gill's life has also been transformed by her 2010 experience and she is also hoping for gold at the WTG, where her and Ryan will be a unique pairing, both mum and son AND donor and recipient. Gill explained “I am proof that as a Live Donor you go on to lead a perfectly normal life and seeing my son thrive and develop into a fantastic young man is every mum's wish."
Gill Childs will join hundreds taking part in the Simplyhealth Great North 10K for good causes including Sarah and Chris Cookson, who sadly have have lost two very young sons to health tragedies. The South Shields couple are taking part in the race to break down the taboo surrounding child organ donation. They will join a team of family and friends in the Simplyhealth Great North 10K to highlight to other parents the vital importance of organ donation in times of heartbreak.
Gill, Sarah and Chris will line-up alongside GB star and Great Run regular Gemma Steel. After her victory last year Gemma enthused: "Enjoyed the Great North 10K today. Loved being part of the fantastic atmosphere and winning for the third time makes it extra special."
And like the rest of the big crowd that provides crucial support along the route, Giil, Gemma and co. will warm to the colourful band of Gurkhas, who make the trip each year from Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire for the race as part of their training.
There's still time to enter this North East classic but you'll have to be quick - race day is less then 4 weeks away on Sunday 7 July, which 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.