A man aiming to run 10K in every country in the world will be visiting Newcastle this weekend.

Dan Thompson will be running 10K – and inviting others to join him – in Newcastle on Saturday 26th May. The run is part of an incredible challenge Dan has undertaken to aid Cancer Research UK.

Not only does Dan aim to run 10 kilometres in each of the world’s 206 countries, he also intends to do a 10K in the 45 most populous areas in the UK.

This means he will run a total of 2.5 million metres – one metre for each of the UK’s cancer sufferers. Dan is aiming to complete his challenge before the 2020 Olympics.

Dan hopes both to raise money for Cancer Research UK and to promote active, healthy lifestyles. The Newcastle run will be the first Run the World Challenge event held in the UK.

The event will take place in Exhibition Park and on the Town Moor. As well as the 10K run, there will be 5K running and walking options. Anybody who would like to take part in or support the run should meet at the bandstand in Exhibition Park, Claremont Road at 9.45 am.

At 10.00 am, the event will kick off with a welcome speech and group photo, and the run will begin at 10.05 am.

The run is being supported by Active Newcastle – which encourages the city’s residents to lead more active lives – and by the Newcastle United Foundation, which uses football to promote learning, self-development and healthier lifestyles.

Dan Thompson said, “I’m very much looking forward to running in Newcastle and am delighted that Active Newcastle and the Newcastle United Foundation are supporting the run.”

“I’d like to stress that everyone is welcome to take part irrespective of their level of fitness or running speed.”

“Participants are also welcome to run part of the way, join in on a bike or just come along and support the runners.”

Dan – whose mother passed away from cancer – added, “Cancer rates are on the increase across the world, and in the UK it is now projected that 50% – half of us – will get cancer. That’s a terrifying statistic.”

“The good news is that cancer treatments and survival rates are improving as we continue to invest in research. The other good news is that lifestyle changes could prevent four in 10 cancers.”

“An active, healthy lifestyle also substantially reduces the risk of a range of other illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, dementia and depression.”

“I hope that by running around the UK and the world, I’ll not only raise a lot of money for Cancer Research, but I’ll also help increase awareness of the huge benefits of an active, healthy lifestyle.”

Newcastle City Council’s cabinet member for culture, sport and public health, Cllr Kim McGuinness, said, “We are really proud that Dan has chosen Newcastle as one of the locations in which he’ll complete this amazing challenge.”

“It would be fantastic to see lots of local residents coming out in force to join Dan this Saturday at Exhibition Park. Hopefully, the Geordie spirit and enthusiasm will spur him on.”

Speaking on behalf of the Newcastle United Foundation, Ashley Lowe said, “The Foundation and the members of our running club are impressed and inspired by Dan’s mission and achievements so far.”

“We’re proud to be part of his journey and would encourage others in the city to get involved by supporting Dan on the day and sharing his Run the World experience with friends and family.”

The senior local fundraising manager for Cancer Research UK, Claire Cullen, said, “When I heard about Dan’s challenge, I was hugely impressed with his incredible mission to run 10K in every Olympic country in the world to fundraise for us.”

“Cancer Research UK don’t receive any government funding, so it’s inspirational individuals like Dan that help to fund our ground-breaking research, raising money to beat cancer sooner.”  

If you would like to take part in or support Newcastle’s Run the World event – or would like information about Run the World talks in schools – please contact Denise Williams at denise@run-the-world.org.

If you would like to donate to Cancer Research UK, please go to www.justgiving.com/Dan-Thompson11.

More information about the Run the World Challenge can be found on Dan’s blog and website at https://dansgoldchallenge.wordpress.com/.

So far, Dan has run 10K in 141 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, the Pacific and the Americas.

The North East certainly seems willing to lace up its running shoes and get out on the road. The recent Run Sunderland Festival 2018 – organised by Steve Cram – attracted thousands of participants to the streets of Wearside.   

(The images in the article show Dan Thompson in Malaysia and The Bahamas.)

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