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Are You Taking Part In The Great North Run?

  • Sophie
  • 11th September 2017

On your marks. Get set. Go!

On Sunday, 10th September, tens of thousands of tight-shorts-wearing folk will descend the streets of Newcastle upon Tyne ready to participate in the largest half marathon event in the entire world: the Simplyhealth Great North Run!
Held once a year, the mighty 13.1 mile route takes runners through the city centre towards the River Tyne, across the iconic Tyne Bridge and through Gateshead.

They'll travel onto South Shields; where, at the top of Prince Edward Road, they'll get to soak up stunning sea views (no stopping, though!). Then, it's just one mile until they reach the finish line!
The atmosphere at the Great North Run is always electric, thanks to the thousand of enthusiastic supporters cheering from the sidelines of the entire route! So, in ode to this amazing event, which has raised millions of pounds for charities over the years...

here are some fun facts you may not know about the Great North Run:

  • The very first Great North Run was held on 38th June 1981, with 12,000 runners taking part.

  • The run was created by former Olympic 10,000m bronze medalist and BBC Sport commentator, Brendan Foster. Foster was inspired to create the event after participating in the Round the Bays Race in New Zealand in 1979.

  • Bupa was the title partner from the early 90s to up until 2014, making it one of Britain's longest sports sponsorship agreements.

  • The total amount of metal used in the medals given to the finishers weighs a jaw-dropping 49 tonnes!

  • Martin Mathathi holds the current course record, crossing the finish line at 58:56 minutes in 2011. Mary Jepkosgei Keitany holds the women'ss course record of 65:39 minutes, which was set in 2014.

  • In 2014, Mo Farah completed the race in exactly 1 hour and in 2016, became the first person to win the race three times consecutively.

  • In 2014, the 34th Great North Run welcomed 57,000 participants and was the first race in a whopping 29 years to have a British man win.

  • Many bands set up camp along the sidelines, the longest-serving being the Dinosaurs from Hell.

  • Race starters include the likes of Sting, Tony Blair, Sir Bobby Charlton, Jackie Charlton and Ant & Dec.

  • It takes 38 double-decker buses to drive all of the baggage to the finish line.

  • In the 2014 race, the 1 millionth runner crossed the finish line. Tracey Cramond, who was raising money for Butterwick Hospice, said she was gobsmacked and hailed the event her moment of fame.

  • It would take around 92,447 footballs lined up to complete the length of the course.

Now you feel a little more in-the-know about the wonderful Great North Run, do you feel inspired to take part? Unfortunately, this years race is closed, but places will soon be available for next years event, leaving you with plenty of time to get race-ready and raise some money for your charity of choice. Mo Farah, watch out!

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