Police dogs and horses limber up for Great North Run

Police horses have been limbering up for the Great North Run.
Police horses have been limbering up for the Great North Run.
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Police dogs and horses are set to be race ready as they aim to keep the public safe at the world's biggest half marathon on Sunday.

Northumbria Police is finalising plans for the Great North Run, which will see Olympic legend Mo Farah and tens of thousands of others head to South Shields from Newcastle.

Police dogs have been limbering up for the Great North Run.

Police dogs have been limbering up for the Great North Run.

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 had 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.

Police horse Parker has limbering up for the Great North Run.

Police horse Parker has limbering up for the Great North Run.

Chief inspector Jamie Pitt, who is silver commander for the Great North Run, 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 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 at http://www.nexus.org.uk/metro/greatnorthrun.

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