Gurkhas join thousands of runners for the region's biggest 10k

Two hundred Gurkhas took part. Picture by North News & Pictures
Two hundred Gurkhas took part. Picture by North News & Pictures

Two hundred Gurkha soldiers were among the thousands of runners at the 10th anniversary of the Simplyhealth Great North 10k Gateshead today.

The North East's biggest 10k run saw 5,000 participants pound the pavements of Gateshead, joined by the recruits from Catterick Garrison, who run every year as part of their training.

Thirsty work. Picture by North News & Pictures

Thirsty work. Picture by North News & Pictures

Having started in Sunderland in 2009 before moving to Gateshead in 2011, the 10k now takes runners along the scenic NewcastleGateshead Quayside, passing Sage Gateshead, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.

The route also passed under the Tyne Bridge, an iconic feature of its sister event, the Simplyhealth Great North Run.

More than half of the runners who conquered their 10k challenge today are going on to take part in the world’s biggest half marathon this September.

The Gurkhas gathered on the start line in their own separate wave and took on the event as part of their armed forces training.

Runners pass Sage Gateshead. Picture by North News & Pictures

Runners pass Sage Gateshead. Picture by North News & Pictures

The first male athlete across the line in Gateshead International Stadium was Chris Steele, who sprinted home in a time of 33:16, closely contested by Conrad Franks, from Gateshead Harriers & AC, in 33:23 in second place with John Clifford, of Evenwood Road Runners, clinching third in 34:22.

In the women’s race, Gemma Steel claimed victory in 35:22, more than two minutes ahead of Danielle Smythe, who followed her across the line in 37:57. Third place was claimed by Mary Ferrier in 39:59.

Families and young runners enjoyed the Simplyhealth Great North Family Run in sunny weather in the afternoon.

Four hundred runners took on a one-mile route around the stadium.

The Tyne Bridge provides the perfect backdrop. Picture by North News & Pictures

The Tyne Bridge provides the perfect backdrop. Picture by North News & Pictures

Laura Miller, from Simplyhealth, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people making the most of life as they completed the Simplyhealth Great North 10k with smiles on their faces as family and friends cheered them over the line.

“We were there helping runners to kickstart their recovery with our Simplyhealth Stretch Zone and free post-event massage.

“Congratulations to everyone who took part.”

The 2019 Simplyhealth Great North 10k Gateshead will take place on Sunday, July 7, and entries are now open. Visit greatrun.org/north10k

Gurkha soldiers were out in force. Picture by North News & Pictures

Gurkha soldiers were out in force. Picture by North News & Pictures

Raising funds for Breast Cancer Now. Picture by North News & Pictures

Raising funds for Breast Cancer Now. Picture by North News & Pictures

Simplyhealth Great North 10k Gateshead is the North East's biggest 10k run. Picture by North News & Pictures

Simplyhealth Great North 10k Gateshead is the North East's biggest 10k run. Picture by North News & Pictures