Great North Run founder Brendan Foster believes Britain is ready to welcome the world with open arms after the launch of the event's most ambitious plan to date.
The Great World Run campaign seeks to recruit one runner from every country in the United Nations – 193 in total – to take part in the iconic half marathon in September.
The search has began to find runners from the remaining countries, with people urged to get in touch if they know anyone who would qualify to take part..
And Brendan, who launched the Great North Run in 1981 when 12,000 ran from Newcastle to South Shields, is confident that although the next stage in the event's development is an ambitious plan, it will make the weekend all the more spectacular.
"It's the biggest event in the world. What we're saying is that it's the world's favourite run, because we've had more runners than anywhere else in the world. Now we want the world to come and join us," said Brendan, at the event's launch held at Newcastle's Centre for Life on Wednesday.
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 many 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.