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Held in September, The Great North Run is the largest half marathon in the world and takes place in Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England.

The Great North Run is one of the UK’s most famous half marathons. The brainchild of former Olympic 10,000-metre bronze medallist and BBC Sport commentator Brendan Foster, The Great North Run is a fantastic race to take part in and help raise money for your chosen charity.

With over 50,000 runners, all with varying abilities, the Great North Run is an inclusive race that sees celebrities, elite runners, people in fancy dress and ordinary people run together. The route takes you through Newcastle’s city centre, over the iconic Gateshead Millennium Bridge past cheering crowds and the route will finish on Horsley Hill in South Shields. Peppered throughout the run will be bands playing live music (known as bands on the run), water stations, toilets and showers.

Many famous faces have taken part in the Great North Run, the most famous being Mo Farah, who has won the race five times in a row. Other celebrities include Olly Murs, comedian Ross Noble, fitness blogger Susie Chan, Emmerdale’s Karen Blick, Scarlett Moffatt and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

As part of the Great North Run celebrations, there are also some shorter running events such as the Junior and Mini Great North Run and the Great North 5k. The Junior Run will see boys and girls aged 9-16 run a distance of 4k , while little ones aged 3-8 can take part in the Mini 1.5k route.

If you are new to running or have taken a prolonged break from the sport, then sign up to the Great North 5k. A fun and friendly race, the course will take participants over the famous swing bridge and then pass the Sage and in the last kilometre runners will cross the Gateshead Millennium Bridge before they reach the finish line.

Great North Run charity places

Alder Hey generally has charity places for the Great North Run. If you want to sign up and raise vital funds for Alder Hey, contact us today on 0151 252 5716 or email us with your name, address and details of the event to [email protected].

Great North Run distance

The Great North Run is a half marathon which is a distance of 13.1 miles or 21k. Taking in some iconic landmarks and offering great views of the North Sea, the Great North Run is one of the most popular races in the UK. The average time for a half marathon for runners with some experience is 2 hours, if you are new to half marathons it can take up to 3 hours. Mo Farah has completed the Great North Run in 59 minutes and 22 seconds. However, he does not hold the record, the fastest runner to complete this Tyneside race is Martin Mathathi from Kenya, who finished the course in 58 minutes 56 seconds. The fastest woman is Mary Keitany, also from Kenya who record-breaking time currently stands at 1.05.39.

Training for a half marathon can be tough, especially if you’ve not taken part in one before. Take a look at our half marathon training plan before you start pounding your local pavements and paths.

Age Restriction: 17+

Route Length: 13.1 miles

Cost: Not provided

For more information visit: www.greatrun.org/register.

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