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Great North Run

Quick facts

Location NewCastle, United Kingdom

Distance Half marathon

About Great North Run

Not just a great competitive event, the Great North Run is run for charity. The proceeds go to prevent child abuse across the UK. The Great North Run is one of the most beloved half marathons around the UK. The course takes runners through Newcastle and ends in South Shields, a beautiful coastal town on the cusp of the UK. 

The race takes place every year in the North East part of England in the month of September when the weather is tepid, and the leaves are just about to turn. Touting more than 54,000 participants, runners from beginner to advanced join for a wonderful cause.First initiated in 1981, the race has been going strong for over three decades. Since that time, it has quickly become one of the most popular and highly attended half marathons in the world. 

Not only attracting participants locally, but people also come from all around the globe to help raise money and awareness of child abuse prevention. Originally organized by bronze medallist Brendan Foster, who is also a famous sports commentator, the course was designed to accommodate any runner from novice to expert. For those who are looking to get their marathon feet wet and participate in a fundraising event, this may be just the perfect starting point. One not to miss, the crowd is as spectacular as the event itself. No shortage of goodwill and celebration, you should definitely put it on your “to-do” list.


Great North 5K

  • 5km

Great North Run

  • 21.097km


Age Limit

17 years old and over

Great North Run Route Map

Great North Run Route Map


Newcastle upon Tyne



South Shields



The Start is located to the north of Newcastle City Centre, just off Claremont Road. The start assembly area is over 1km in length. Participants run between Newcastle upon Tyne and South Shields in England, where they will view sites of  the Gates Head Stadium, Tyne Bridge, Heworth Park & Ride, Tyne Tunnel and Whiteleas.

Recently voted, by Guardian and Observer readers, as the best city in the UK, Newcastle is the place to visit. Nestled next to the River Tyne, a stone’s throw from the North East coastline, and a short drive away from the rolling countryside, Newcastle has a multitude of qualities to offer any visitor.

The huge arts and culture scene offers visitors an alternative reason to visit the ‘toon’ other than its traditional buzzing bars and quirky restaurants. Visit the popular Quayside area to see the famous Tyne Bridge that joins Newcastle and Gateshead, and pop across the tilting Millennium Bridge to visit the Baltic Gallery and the Sage concert venue.


Starting in Newcastle upon Tyne the 13.1 mile route takes runners through the city centre towards the River Tyne where thousands of people will cross over the iconic Tyne Bridge, where if you're lucky, you might get a glimpse of the Red Arrows passing overhead.

From there runners will travel through Gateshead while being entertained by our Bands on the Run. The route, lined by thousands of supporters, leads runners to South Shields where at the top of Prince Edward Road the view of the sea is one of the most welcoming sights along the whole course.

From that point there is just over a mile to go and the crowds get louder as runners make their way down the final straight towards the finish gantry.

Great North Run Trivia

The 2005 race was started by Mike McLeod, the winner of the inaugural race in 1981 who went on to win a silver medal in the 10,000 metres at the 1984 Summer Olympics. On race day itself, four participants died en route to South Shields. An inquest into the four deaths from 2005 began on Monday 5 June 2006 at Gateshead Council Chambers. In subsequent events, more emergency service personnel were brought in to ensure there was adequate cover. In spite of increased medical provision at the 2006 race, a man in his twenties died. The 2007 Great North Run was held on 30 September and was started by former England and Newcastle United manager Sir Bobby Robson. Kara Goucher defeated Paula Radcliffe in an impressive victory for the American. Goucher's winning time was 1:06:57. The 2008 Great North Run was held on 5 October and was started by former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair.

The race information has been found on the official website of the event or through publicly available sources. Always refer to the official website the latest race information. Please let us know if any data is wrong or missing, by emailing us.