British international Matty Hynes joined young runners in Gateshead, three months before the 2016 Great North 10k

Great Britain and England international athlete Matty Hynes joined runners in Gateshead International Stadium today to launch the Great North 10k Gateshead.

With just three months to go, Hynes, who finished third in last year’s Great North 10k Gateshead, offered training advice to participants of the north-east’s biggest 10km running event, which returns on Sunday July 3.

The one-time fun runner, who hails from Middlesbrough, Teesside, said: “It is be great to be back in Gateshead to launch the Great North 10k Gateshead.

“Having been on the podium before it has special memories for me, not least running with the Olympic Gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich.

“From world class elites, to amateur runners taking part for loads of different reasons, it’s a great day out and a wonderful course to test yourself on.”

Matty was accompanied by runners taking on the 10km, who will join up to 5000 participants on a route that takes in iconic landmarks on the Quayside including Sage Gateshead, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge before crossing the finish line on the iconic Gateshead International Stadium track

After the phenomenal growth of the Junior and Mini Great North Run, which has now reached capacity, this year the Great North 10k Gateshead will also feature two brand new family events, the Great North 10k Family Mile and the Great North 10k Toddler Dash.

These inclusive events – for all enthusiastic runners aged 3 and up – are designed to help families enjoy getting active together and will both finish inside Gateshead International Stadium.

David Hart, communications director at The Great Run Company, said: “Now in its 10th year, the Great North 10k Gateshead has grown to become the North East’s biggest 10k running event.

“It’s also the perfect opportunity for many to get some important training miles in ahead of the Great North Run in September.

“We’re also thrilled to be able to include a family element in the event this year. It’s really important to encourage children to enjoy being active from a young age.

“With the Great North 10k Family Mile and the Great North 10k Toddler Dash, we hope to inspire the young runners of the future to take on the 10k in the years to come!

“We are looking forward to welcoming thousands of people to the iconic Gateshead International Stadium for a special day in the regions running calendar.”

Gateshead Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure, Councillor Gary Haley, said: Gateshead has a long established reputation for hosting major sporting events and we are delighted that the Great North 10k Gateshead is taking place again this year.

“This is a great route which will see competitors taking in some of Gateshead’s most iconic sights along the way and finishing on the same track that sporting greats such as Mo Farah have competed on, at Gateshead International Stadium.”

Entries for the Great North 10k and the Great North 10k family events are open at www.greatrun.org/north10k