News

Police lace up their boots for the Great North Run

08 Sep 2016 11:20 AM

David Felton GNR [View Full Size]

Northumbria Police are getting ready for the Great North Run - by lacing up their running shoes and hitting the road.

This Sunday tens of thousands of runners will line up in Newcastle for the world's biggest half marathon following weeks of fundraising and hard training.

Thousands of those will be local competitors from the North East with thousands more coming to the region from nearly 200 different countries around the world.

Northumbria Police will be highly visible over the weekend with neighbourhood officers, firearms officer, police horses and police dogs on duty across the region.

But dozens more police officers and police staff will be doing their final preparations this week - as they get ready to compete in the race themselves!

The Force is supporting those running the race by using the hashtag #RunCopRun on social media and will be talking about the individual stories that have inspired the workforce to get involved.

Acting Chief Superintendent David Felton is one of those competing in the race this Sunday and he revealed he ran the race one time before - 31 years ago when he was just 11!

The race was held on June 30th, 1985, and a young David completed it in an impressive 2 hours 15 minutes 6 seconds.

Dave Felton GNR certificate

Now he is the Central Area Commander and is hoping he can beat the time he set more than three decades ago - otherwise he will be in for some stick from his colleagues in Newcastle.

Ch Supt Felton said: "Training has been long and hard but I'm really looking forward to the race now even if I do feel a bit sick when I see it is getting closer and closer.

"I remember doing it when I was 11 right around the time they put the age restriction on and I have no idea how my legs managed to cope with all the hills.

"More than three decades have passed since then and I have worked it a few times. The buzz along the race route in Newcastle, Gateshead and South Shields is something I have always really enjoyed.

"Some of the people who are taking part are truly inspirational and I have been reading some of their stories in the press and it has really encouraged me to kick on with my training.

"I am running the race for Parkinsons UK as I have experienced a family loss as a result of the disease so it is something that is particularly close to my heart.

"There are a few more police officers and police staff running the race and we will be sharing their stories over the weekend as well as they prepare for the event.

"Hopefully you will join me and wishing them all the luck in the world with the race and with their own fundraising efforts.

"Good luck to anyone else who is taking part on Sunday and if you see me at the start line then make sure you ask me for a selfie - I'm on Twitter these days so I think I've got the hang of it!"

Additional Metro trains will be in operation on the day of the race and some stations will be closed to the public to minimise disruption 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.