Feature:Limbering up for the NewcastleGateshead Archi-jog

Stretch to the left and then to the right; bend your knees and touch the floor. That should be the perfect preparation for a special NewcastleGateshead Archi-jog event being led by North East runner Colin Dilks as part of Architecture Week 2006.

On Saturday 17 June, avid joggers and architecture enthusiasts had the chance to zip up their tracksuits and slip on their trainers to enjoy a medium paced hour-long healthy run around some of the region’s finest contemporary architecture.

“The idea of the jog is to raise awareness of people’s surroundings, to get them to appreciate the architecture they have in the area,” said Colin Dilks.

Dilks (42) of Byker in Newcastle upon Tyne works as an Administrator in the International and Business Development Office for the School of Health, Community and Education Studies at Northumbria University. Dilks has been a resident of Byker Wall for over 8 years and is also one of the Directors of Ouseburn Farm. He notes that a number of running clubs use various different routes in and around NewcastleGateshead but wonders how many of them actually absorb the heritage during the training sessions?

Colin’s regular route takes him along Newcastle Quayside and towards the Scotswood development. He names two of his favourite pieces of architecture as being the High Level Bridge spanning the River Tyne for its subtle minimalist design and continued functionality after over 150 years in operation carrying rail, car and pedestrian users and the famously nicknamed ‘Get Carter’ Car Park in Gateshead for its great aesthetics and the architect’s use of concrete materials.

The Archi-jog route looks to take in the sites of both Newcastle and Gateshead Quays including the stunning bridges, The Sage Gateshead, BALTIC and then will go on a quieter off-road route taking in some of the beautiful Ouseburn Valley. Colin adds: “This is a great way for people to meet up and enjoy architecture in a way they may have never envisaged before. I’m hoping that people from outside of the region will come along to see a bit of Tyneside.”