Culture Wikia

Template:Infobox Athleticrace The Great North Run - or the Simplyhealth Great North Run for sponsorship purposes - is the largest half marathon in the world, taking place annually in North East England each September.[1] Participants run between Newcastle upon Tyne and South Shields. The run was devised by former Olympic 10,000 m bronze medallist and BBC Sport commentator Brendan Foster.

The first Great North Run was staged on 28 June 1981, when 12,000 runners participated. By 2011, the number of participants had risen to 54,000. For the first year it was advertised as a local fun run; nearly thirty years on it has become one of the biggest running events in the world, and the biggest in the UK. Only the Great Manchester Run and London Marathon come close to attracting similar numbers of athletes each year.

The 1992 edition of the race incorporated the 1st IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. Martin Mathathi holds the current men's course record with his run of 58:56 minutes in 2011. Mary Jepkosgei Keitany's women's course record of 65:39 minutes, was set in 2014. In 2016, Mo Farah became the first person to win the event three times consecutively.[2]


The Great North Run starts in Newcastle upon Tyne on the A167 road, on the edge of both the city centre and the Town Moor. The route heads east and south down the motorway section, around the eastern side of the city centre, then crosses the Tyne Bridge into Gateshead. It heads around the eastern side of Gateshead town centre, then at a roundabout turns east and heads down the A184 in the direction of Sunderland. After 3.5 miles, the route turns off the A184 and heads north-east towards South Shields. 2.5 miles later, the route reaches the southern side of Jarrow and it turns east down the A1300. The route passes through the south of South Shields (through Harton and Marsden) until it reaches the seafront just over 3.5 miles later, where it turns north up the A183. The last mile of the route runs along the seafront road to the finishing line at South Shields.[3]


File:The Great North Run (259730978).jpg

The Great North Run is a mass participation event: two lines of runners merging near the one mile mark.

The run was devised by former Olympic 10,000 m bronze medallist and BBC Sport commentator Brendan Foster. Foster was inspired after running in the Round the Bays Race in New Zealand in 1979, and has built upon the Great North Run with a series of other Great Run road races.

The first Great North Run was staged on 28 June 1981, when 12,000 runners participated. By 2003, the number of participants had risen to 47,000. The 2011 event saw an announced field of 54,000. The number of finishers was 35,777 in 2007, the largest half marathon and the 13th largest running race that year.[4] In 2014, the event had 41,615 finishers, making it the largest half-marathon in the world as certified by Guinness World Records in 2016.[5]

For the first nine races, eight of them were held in June. Since 1990, the race has instead been held in the autumn, usually in September but occasionally in October instead.[6] Since 1990, the earliest date the race has been held on is 7 September (2014) and the latest is 22 October (2000). Bupa was the title partner of the Great North Run from the early 1990s until 2014, one of Britain’s longest ever sports sponsorship agreements. In 2015 Morrisons announced their sponsorship of the Great Run series.[7] In November 2015, the Great Run Company announced it was searching for a new title sponsor which includes the Great North Run. The 2016 Great North Run was the first staging of the event without a title sponsor.[8] Simplyhealth became the new lead sponsor for 2017.[9]


The 2005 Great North Run was the twenty-fifth edition of the race. Events to mark the anniversary included the launch of the Great North Run Cultural Programme at the Sage Gateshead. The race was started by Mike McLeod, the winner of the inaugural race in 1981. During the race, four participants died en route to South Shields.[10] 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.[11]

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 2009 Great North Run was held on 20 September and was started by the musician Sting.

The 2010 Great North Run was the 30th running of the event and was held on 19 September and was started by TV presenters Ant & Dec. The number of finishers (half marathon only) was 39,459.[12]

The 2011 Great North Run took place on the morning of Sunday, 18 September 2011. The race was started by World 5,000 metre champion Mo Farah.[13]

In 2013 the 33rd Great North Run had 56000 participants, most of whom were raising money for charity. The elite races had Olympic Gold Medalists and World Champion long distance runners participating including in the men's race, Mo Farah, Kenenisa Bekele and a regular supporter of the event, Haile Gebrselassie. Ethiopian Bekele won the men's event just ahead of Farah. Kenya's Priscah Jeptoo came first the women's race and multi Olympic Gold Medalist David Weir won the wheelchair event.[14]

In 2014 the 34th Great North Run had 57000 participants, celebrated the 1 millionth runner to cross the finish line, and was the first to have a British man win in 29 years. Mo Farah completed the race in exactly 1 hour, while Mary Keitany completed in 1:05:39 seconds - surpassing the previous course record of 1:05:40 by 1 second, a record held by Paula Radcliffe. Tracey Cramond, who was raising money for Butterwick Hospices, was the 1 millionth person to complete the run, stating she was "gobsmacked" and that it was her "moment of fame".[15][16] The Great North Run was the first International Athletics Association Event (IAAF) event in the world to reach such a milestone.

Past winners[]

File:The Great North Run (259730979).jpg

Runners taking part in 2006

File:GNR07 Ladies.jpg

Paula Radcliffe and Kara Goucher heading the pack in the 2007 race

Key: <templatestyles src="Legend/styles.css" />  Course record

Edition Year Men's winner Time (h:m:s) Women's winner Time (h:m:s)
1st 1981 Template:Flagathlete 1:03:23 Template:Flagathlete 1:17:36
2nd 1982 Template:Flagathlete 1:02:44 Template:Flagathlete 1:19:24
3rd 1983 Template:Flagathlete 1:02:46 Template:Flagathlete 1:16:39
4th 1984 Template:Flagathlete 1:04:36 Template:Flagathlete 1:10:27
5th 1985 Template:Flagathlete 1:02:44 Template:Flagathlete 1:09:54
6th 1986 Template:Flagathlete 1:00:43 Template:Flagathlete 1:09:45
7th 1987 Template:Flagathlete 1:02:04 Template:Flagathlete 1:10:00
8th 1988 Template:Flagathlete 1:01:00 Template:Flagathlete 1:08:49
9th 1989 Template:Flagathlete 1:02:39 Template:Flagathlete 1:10:43
10th 1990 Template:Flagathlete 1:00:34 Template:Flagathlete 1:09:33
11th 1991 Template:Flagathlete 1:00:28 Template:Flagathlete 1:10:57
12th 1992 Template:Flagathlete 1:00:24 Template:Flagathlete 1:08:53
13th 1993 Template:Flagathlete 59:47 Template:Flagathlete 1:12:55
14th 1994 Template:Flagathlete 1:00:02 Template:Flagathlete 1:11:29
15th 1995 Template:Flagathlete 1:00:39 Template:Flagathlete 1:11:42
16th 1996 Template:Flagathlete 1:01:43 Template:Flagathlete 1:10:28
17th 1997 Template:Flagathlete 1:00:25 Template:Flagathlete 1:09:24
18th 1998 Template:Flagathlete 1:02:32 Template:Flagathlete 1:11:50
19th 1999 Template:Flagathlete 1:00:52 Template:Flagathlete 1:09:07
20th 2000 Template:Flagathlete 1:01:57 Template:Flagathlete 1:07:07
21st 2001 Template:Flagathlete 1:00:30 Template:Flagathlete 1:08:40
22nd 2002 Template:Flagathlete 59:58 Template:Flagathlete 1:07:19
23rd 2003 Template:Flagathlete 1:00:01 Template:Flagathlete 1:05:40
24th 2004 Template:Flagathlete 59:37 Template:Flagathlete 1:07:55
25th 2005 Template:Flagathlete 59:05 Template:Flagathlete 1:07:33
26th 2006 Template:Flagathlete 1:01:03 Template:Flagathlete 1:10:03
27th 2007 Template:Flagathlete 1:00:08 Template:Flagathlete 1:06:57
28th 2008 Template:Flagathlete 59:45 Template:Flagathlete 1:08:51
29th 2009 Template:Flagathlete 59:32 Template:Flagathlete 1:09:08
30th 2010 Template:Flagathlete 59:33 Template:Flagathlete 1:08:49
31st 2011 Template:Flagathlete 58:56 Template:Flagathlete 1:07:06
32nd 2012 Template:Flagathlete 59:06 Template:Flagathlete 1:07:35
33rd 2013 Template:Flagathlete 1:00:09 Template:Flagathlete 1:05:45
34th 2014 Template:Flagathlete 1:00:00 Template:Flagathlete 1:05:39
35th 2015 Template:Flagathlete 59:22 Template:Flagathlete 1:07:32
36th 2016 Template:Flagathlete 1:00:04 Template:Flagathlete 1:07:54

Wheelchair race[]

<templatestyles src="Legend/styles.css" />  Course record

Edition Year Men's winner Time (h:m:s) Women's winner Time (h:m:s)
1981 Template:Flagathlete 1:28:54
1982 Template:Flagathlete 1:32:00
1983 Template:Flagathlete 1:17:16 Template:Flagathlete 2:27:29
1984 Template:Flagathlete 1:10:28 Template:Flagathlete 2:50:42
1985 Template:Flagathlete 1:17:18 Template:Flagathlete 2:26:53
1986 Template:Flagathlete 1:01:15 Template:Flagathlete 1:13:04
1987 Template:Flagathlete 56:37 Template:Flagathlete 1:19:55
1988 Template:Flagathlete 57:57 Template:Flagathlete 1:37:38
1989 Template:Flagathlete 1:01:40 Template:Flagathlete 2:06:54
1990 Template:Flagathlete 56:32 Template:Flagathlete 1:05:08
1991 Template:Flagathlete 47:24 Template:Flagathlete 1:00:22
1992 Template:Flagathlete 50:21 Template:Flagathlete 59:21
1993 Template:Flagathlete 54:11 Template:Flagathlete 58:00
1994 Template:Flagathlete 50:33 Template:Flagathlete 1:00:41
1995 Template:Flagathlete 52:16 Template:Flagathlete 58:44
1996 Template:Flagathlete 49:17 Template:Flagathlete 57:17
1997 Template:Flagathlete 44:22 Template:Flagathlete 52:17
1998 Template:Flagathlete 53:47 Template:Flagathlete 1:10:58
1999 Template:Flagathlete 49:57 Template:Flagathlete 1:02:32
2000 Template:Flagathlete 49:18 Template:Flagathlete 1:13:32
2001 Template:Flagathlete 48:10 Template:Flagathlete 52:59
2002 Template:Flagathlete 48:46 Template:Flagathlete 57:47
2003 Template:Flagathlete 45:41 Template:Flagathlete 53:04
2004 Template:Flagathlete 45:37 Template:Flagathlete 52:14
2005 Template:Flagathlete 42:33 Template:Flagathlete 50:04
2006 Template:Flagathlete 42:39 Template:Flagathlete 50:33
2007 Template:Flagathlete 42:35 Template:Flagathlete 50:33
2008 Template:Flagathlete 44:10 Template:Flagathlete 51:18
2009 Template:Flagathlete 41:34 Template:Flagathlete 49:47
2010 Template:Flagathlete 44:49 Template:Flagathlete 52:59
2011 Template:Flagathlete 43:57 Template:Flagathlete 50:14
2012 Template:Flagathlete 43:18 Template:Flagathlete 1:15:00
2013 Template:Flagathlete 43:06 Template:Flagathlete 54:28
2014 Template:Flagathlete 43:02 Template:Flagathlete 50:34
2016 Template:Flagathlete 49:02

See also[]

  • Northeast of England


  1. "Largest half marathon". Guinness World Records.
  2. James Riach (11 September 2016). "Mo Farah wins Great North Run for record third year in row and eyes Tokyo". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  3. Great North Route website
  4. Running USA - RRIC World's Largest Races
  5. "Largest half marathon". Guinness World Records.
  6. "Great North Run 2015: Why next year's race has a later date". Evening Chronicle. 10 September 2014. Retrieved 29 March 2015. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  7. [Retrieved on 2015-02-03].
  8. "Great Run Series Seeks New Title Sponsor".
  9. BBC News Retrieved 8 January 2017. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. Four men die in Great North Run, BBC News, 18 September 2005.
  11. Tragedy hits 26th Great North Run, BBC News report on the 29-year-old, unnamed Yorkshire man who died in the 2006 run.
  12. The highest overall position number for a runner, when searching the results on
  13. "BUPA Great North Run @ Newcastle – Gateshead, UK, 18th September 2011". 24 Hour Trading Ltd. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  14. "Great North Run: Mo Farah narrowly beaten as thousands run". British Broadcasting Corp. 15 September 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
  15. "Great North Run: Thousands complete half-marathon". British Broadcasting Corp. 7 September 2014.
  16. "Great North Run 2014: One millionth finisher crosses line". British Broadcasting Corp. 7 September 2014.

External links[]

Template:IAAF Gold Label Template:Great Run Series Template:Athletics in the UK