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Police animals finish their training for the Great North Run

07 Sep 2016 16:00 PM

PD Ziva [View Full Size]

Northumbria Police is finalising plans to keep the public safe at the Great North Run on Sunday - with the force's Police Dogs and Horses putting in their own final training sessions to make sure they are race ready!

The world famous half marathon returns to the region this Sunday with Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah lining up alongside tens of thousands members of the public on the start line in Newcastle.

Police, race organisers, local authorities and the public transport providers have been working for a number of months to ensure the event passes without incident.

But now the police animals have been putting the finishing touches to their training - by donning sweatbands and their personalised running bibs!

Police horses Paddington, Pye and Parker were able to have one last training run at their base in Northumberland today and Police Dog Ziva even got in on the act as part of 'National Fitness Day'.

They will all be on duty this weekend as the Force look to keep the public safe and ensure the race passes without any significant disruption.

Chief Inspector Jamie Pitt is silver commander for the Great North Run and said the animals will be particularly partial to a selfie when they're on duty this weekend.

He said: "We love our police animals and they are a vital resource when it comes to events of this nature with large crowds.”

"They will be on duty with our officers for the Great North Run and they are a great way for us to engage with members of the public.

"Our dogs and our animals have been doing their regular training this week and we thought it would be fun to get them in their running gear to get into the spirit of what will be a fantastic weekend.

"The police animals will be at the start and finish line for the race on Sunday and they have told us they really want to get loads of selfies with the crowds.”

"The horses seem to have got a bit jealous of all the attention our pups have had in recent weeks so they're determined to photo bomb as many of the public's pictures as they can!"

Nearly twice as many Metro trains will be in operation on the day of the race and some stations will be closed to the public to minimise dirsuption for those travelling to and from the finish line.

Free parking will be in place at Park and Ride sites at the following Metro stations: Callerton Parkway, Bank Foot, Kingston Park, Regent Centre, Four Lane Ends, Northumberland Park, East Boldon, Fellgate and Stadium of Light.

There is also a council operated car park at Heworth which requires a small fee but the surrounding roads will be closed for most of the day as the nearby roads form part of the Great North Run route.

More information about travelling by Metro is available on the NEXUS website which you can view by visiting: http://www.nexus.org.uk/metro/greatnorthrun.

For further information about the race itself, road closures and viewing points then visit the Great Run Company website at: http://www.greatrun.org/great-north-run.