Thousands share Gateshead Bupa Great North 10K finish with Mo Farah - GALLERY

Thousands of runners took to the track for a stadium finish at one of the region’s largest races.

Competitors taking part in the BUPA Great North 10k in Gateshead
Competitors taking part in the BUPA Great North 10k in Gateshead

Thousands of runners took to the track for a stadium finish at one of the region’s largest races. Fun-runners joined more serious athletes in the Gateshead Bupa Great North 10K.

That climax was yesterday – also the final day of the European Athletics Team Championships. More than 20,000 supporters packed into the International Stadium over the championships’ two days to cheer on athletes from 12 countries, including British Olympic stars Mo Farah, Greg Rutherford and Christine Ohuruogu.

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After mostly dry weather on Saturday, heavy showers hit yesterday’s events but Gateshead Council leader Mick Henry said: “It has been a fantastic weekend for sport in Gateshead. A packed stadium over two days really got behind the teams. The atmosphere was tremendous and once again Gateshead has shown we can deliver world class events.”

This year’s Great North 10K, which is in its fifth year and its third in Gateshead, was moved forward to coincide with the athletics

Runners from Jog for the Tyne running club, based in Hexham, Northumberland, were among those to take part in the route along the Quayside. Club leader Jennifer Lapping, 37, of Stocksfield, Northumberland, said: “It’s been a great day. We have been running a couple of years now and it’s great to do this sort of thing together. The 10K is a great fun run with a brilliant atmosphere.”

And there were thousands of fun-runners raising money for a host of charities. Bernadette Malcolmson, 28, travelled from Hartlepool with Frank Reid, 56, to take raise cash for Diabetes UK in memory of her grandmother.

The schoolteacher said: “The route was quite tough and there were quite a few hills but I managed to achieve my best time. It was great as we ran into the stadium because everyone was in there cheering us on.”

Sisters Sheena Urwin, 41, of Hunwick, County Durham, and Angela Willett, 44, of East Boldon, ran together. Sheena, head of criminal justice for Durham Police, said: “The atmosphere around the track was second to none. The fire brigade were out cooling us down with water and everyone along the way was cheering for us. It has been great and we’ve just really enjoyed it.”

The Brigade of Gurkhas took part for the second time, this time joined by 50 soldiers from the Guards Training Company. Captain Nimbahadur Pun said: “We were very pleased to be invited back as it’s a great opportunity for the new soldiers to experience something different as part of their training.”

Gateshead council cabinet member for culture Coun Linda Green said: “Thousands of runners sharing the finish line with Europe’s biggest athletes such as Mo Farah, is something they will never forget.”

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