Some of the world’s best athletes will swarm the Quayside tomorrow as they compete in the annual Gateshead Great City Games.
Holly Bleasdale, Greg Rutherford and Ryan Bailey are just some of the names that will take to the streets, quite literally, in a GBR vs USA competition. The event is a free to all for the general public that allows them to see fellow Olympians for the last time this season before next year’s World Championships.
USA sprinter Miki Barber, who will feature in the 100m and 150m is particularly looking forward to her very first street race. She said: “I grew up racing in the street, up and down my street in my neighbourhood with my friends and I’ve never been to a street race or had one and I always see it on TV and I’ve thought ‘wow I want to do that one day’ so when they called me I was like ‘yeah I want to do it!’ “
Barber was a member of the 2007 4x100m gold medal team at the World Championships in Osaka. She recently raced in Rieti last week and will now look to close her season at Gateshead.
Barber has expressed that she would like to see street races to be introduced to America to allow fans to get up, close and personal with the athletes and vice versa.
“Everyone that I talk to, the people on the circuit that are running now, they want do something new and try come up with something like that.
“If we get something like that in the US it would be great, in the middle of New York or Vegas or somewhere big, people want to see a good race and in a street race and be that close to the athletes and the athletes be close to the fans.”
Also featuring in the GCG is Olympic Triple Jump Champion Christian Taylor. World Indoor Champion Will Claye will face our very own Olympic Champion Greg Rutherford in the long jump while Wallace Spearmon and Marlon Devonish will be running in the 150m event.
Without doubt the focus will be, however, on double Olympic Gold medallists Mo Farah who will run the 2-mile race after pulling out of the Great North Run.
Action starts at 1pm with the start of BBC1’s coverage due to begin at the same time.
You can find the start lists for tomorrow’s events here.