Hundreds of runners sign up for new marathon

A picture of Mark Potter who was running in his 175th marathon
Mark Potter has taken part in 175 marathons and hopes to get to 200 [BBC]

Hundreds of runners have taken part in a new full marathon in the region famed for the Great North Run.

The Newcastle-Gateshead race started and finished at Gateshead International Stadium and followed a route along roads closed for the event.

Competitors passed renowned landmarks including the Gateshead Millennium Bridge and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.

Chris Parr, race director for organisers RunThrough, said they were "thrilled" to bring a new event to the region.

Runners leaving the stadium at the start of a marathon
The marathon began and ended at Gateshead International Stadium [BBC]

"We first suggested Gateshead for a marathon five years ago," Mr Parr said.

"We eventually got a half marathon three years ago and we eventually got to the point when everyone was happy and said yes you can close the roads for a bit longer."

The race organiser at Gateshead stadium with lots of flags behind
The organisers say they hope the Gateshead-Newcastle marathon will become an annual event [BBC]

The marathon took place alongside annual half marathon and 10k events with about 2,000 people completing one of the three distances.

Mark Potter, who was running his 175th marathon, said it was a "nice way to see the city".

"I've got family in the area, so I thought I'd combine doing another marathon with catching up with them," he said.

Gateshead Council cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure Angela Douglas said she hoped it would become a "very special event for the region".

She said: "It gives runners the opportunity to achieve their goals against the backdrop of some of the North East’s most recognisable icons."

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