19 June - SABIC Tees Pride 10K's Olympian launch
Two of Teesside's London 2012 Olympians are calling on locals to get into the Olympic spirit by entering the forthcoming SABIC Tees Pride 10k or 3k Fun Run.
Two of Teesside's London 2012 Olympians are calling on club runners, fitness fanatics, fundraisers and couch potatoes to get into the Olympic spirit by entering the forthcoming SABIC Tees Pride 10k or 3k Fun Run.
Now in its eighth year, Teesside's biggest annual running event takes place on Sunday, September 2, with its Middlesbrough Council organisers targeting 4,000 entrants for the first time.
Entries are already flooding in for one of the region's most popular 10k events, but Middlesbrough swimmer Aimee Wilmott and Loftus-born table tennis star Paul Drinkhall hope many of those who lined North East streets to see the Olympic Torch Relay will be inspired to take an active role in the run.
Taking in its popular route around Acklam, Marton and Grove Hill, the 10k will feature a carnival-style atmosphere as thousands of residents, friends and family line the route to cheer on the runners as they pound the town's roads.
Last year's 10k run topped 3,000 entries, but Olympic qualifiers Aimee and Paul are throwing down the gauntlet for new record numbers to take part in this year's event.
Aimee, who will represent Team GB in the 400 metres individual medley at London 2012, took part in last year's 10k with many of her team-mates from Middlesbrough Amateur Swimming Club - but she is confident the Olympic spirit will encourage many more people this time around.
"I thought it was a fabulous event last year," said the 19-year-old. "It's a nice, flat course so it's perfect of people of all fitness levels, while the support you get right around the course is really special.
"A bit like Wimbledon encourages more people to play tennis, hopefully the 24/7 media coverage of the Olympics will inspire many of those who don't normally take part in such events to get up off the settee, get into shape and take part in the 10k or 3k."
British number one Paul, 22, added: "Sporting activity is a great way to stay healthy and runs like this are the sort of thing almost anyone can achieve if they put their mind to it.
"The two runs take place less than a month after the end of the Olympics, so it's perfect timing for people of all ages to show some of the Olympic spirit."
Race director Jimmy Wattis, Middlesbrough Council's sports development officer, added: "I'd encourage people to get their entries in as soon as possible to commit themselves to taking part. They then need to start getting out to train whenever they can.
"The 10k course is already set out if anyone wants to try it, with yellow markers in place to mark each kilometre."
While the 10k always attracts runners of all standards, there is a minimum age restriction of 15, while the 3k fun run is ideal for families and young runners.
Following the success of May's SABIC 5k Riverside Run, which started and finished at Middlesbrough FC's home ground, Teesside petrochemicals company SABIC have kindly agreed to sponsor the 10k.
SABIC's UK site director Mark Williams said: "SABIC is a global organisation with a Teesside heart, proud to employ 700 staff and 400 contractors on our sites at Wilton and North Tees.
"We were delighted with our involvement in the excellent 5k Riverside Run and we are pleased to support the Tees Pride 10k as another wonderful community and sports event for the people of Teesside and the North East."
The route of the SABIC Tees Pride 10k takes in Acklam Road, Ladgate Lane, Marton Road, Marton Burn Road, Emerson Avenue, Green Lane, Acklam Road again and finally Hall Drive.
There will be water stations and entertainment from local bands around the route, while all 10k and 3k runners will receive a commemorative medal and T-shirt.
- To sign up for either run, visit www.runmiddlesbrough.com, call 01642 515672 for an application form or pick one up at Middlesbrough Leisure Centres or the Central Library. The 10k is also open to wheelchair athletes.
- Entry for the SABIC Tees Pride 10k is £15 or £13 for affiliated runners. Entry for the 3k Fun Run is £7, with family entries just £24 for two adults and up to three children aged under-16.
- Those interested in running for a charity can find out more at www.runmiddlesbrough.com. The site also includes details of various local running routes, a training plan for beginners, plus videos and pictures from previous runs.