Gateshead steals the BUPA Great North 10k from Sunderland

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BUPA’S popular Great North 10k run is racing off to Gateshead after organisers opted to move it from Wearside.

The event has been held in Sunderland for the past two years, attracting thousands of fun-runners into the city.

But Sunderland City Council says it is planning its own 10K race for the city and is waiting to announce a summer date.

The Bupa Great North 10k run, which took in the sights of Wearside, will this year begin in Gateshead on Sunday, July 17, taking in the Baltic Arts Centre, The Sage and Millennium Bridge as part of its route.

But Sunderland City Council has now struck up a new partnership to ensure the city does not miss out on playing host to a run.

Coun Denny Wilson, portfolio holder for Safer City and Culture, said: “Sunderland City Council is delighted to announce it is working on an exciting new partnership which will enable it to continue delivering a 10k run in the city.

“Plans for the new event, which will take place in the summer, are at an advanced stage and an announcement to confirm the details will be made soon.

“Sunderland’s Great North 10k race was launched in 2009, evolving from the successful Great Women’s Run, which took place for three years prior to that.

“In 2010, over 5,000 people took part, making it to the North East’s biggest running event after the Great North Run.

“The council is committed to delivering enjoyable and exciting sporting events which are open to all, from elite and club runners to mass participation by those who have often never taken part in an organised running event before.

“This means that everyone, from the city and surrounding areas, who has enjoyed taking part in Sunderland’s 10k run events in the last few years will be able to do so again in 2011, over a similar course that will take in the city’s centre, parks, riverside, coastline and seafront.”

A spokeswoman for Bupa added: “We have been in Sunderland for two years and have enjoyed two very successful events that have grown in that time.

“It has always been our ambition to move the run around the region and Gateshead has a rich history in athletics so we felt it would be a fantastic place for the event to be held in 2011.”