The Mariners were the honorary starters of one of the region’s top running events on Sunday.

After winning four trophies last season, the club was invited by the organisers of the Simplyhealth Great North 10k to set more than 5,000 participants on their way in Gateshead.

Three SSFC players, though, went the extra mile – or 6.2miles, to be exact.

20170709_105502Julio Arca, Dillon Morse and Luke Sullivan completed the course in 43:23, with the run finishing inside Gateshead International Stadium.

Team-mates Carl Finnigan, Craig Baxter and Stephen Ramsey, as well as joint manager Lee Picton, had been the honorary starters of the race, and were also in the stadium to see the trio of Mariners cross the finish line.

Picton said: “It was a huge honour to be invited to be the starters of this year’s event.

“This has been an incredible year for the club, on and off the pitch, and of course last season was topped off with our win at Wembley in the FA Vase final.

“That was one of four trophies we won last season and we have received some humbling recognition since then, with this being one of those moments.

“We loved being part of it and setting the runners on their way, including Julio, Dillon and Luke, who all did excellently.”

20170709_095808The FA Vase was brought along for the occasion as over 5,000 participants pounded the pavements of Gateshead in the event.

A minute’s applause was held before the run in memory of inspirational six-year-old Bradley Lowery, who died after a battle with neuroblastoma on Friday.

A record number of entrants took on the route along the Newcastle-Gateshead quayside, passing Sage Gateshead, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.

Two-hundred Gurkha recruits from Catterick Garrison gathered on the start line in their own separate wave and took on the event as part of their armed forces training. The Shields trio followed them over the start line.