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 favorite 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 Center for Life on Wednesday.
Starting in Newcastle upon Tyne the 13.1 mile route takes runners through the city center 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.
(2019) Brigid Kosgei smashed the course record at the Great North Run half marathon on Sunday (8), clocking 1:04:28 over the course from Newcastle upon Tyne to South Shields, England, the fastest performance ever over the distance.
As a point-to-point course and slightly downhill, it's not valid for record purposes, but that shouldn't take away from the performance by the 25-year-old Kenyan who dominated the race from the outset.
Running at the front from the start, Kosgei, who raced to high profile marathon victories in London in April and Chicago last October, covered the opening mile in 4:46 and forged on from there to clip more than a minute from the previous course record of 1:05:39 set by Mary Keitany in 2014.
Magdalyne Masai was a distant second in 1:07:36, with Linet Masai third in 1:07:44. Keitany was next in 1:07:58 to round out a Kenyan sweep of the first four spots.
Farah raced to his sixth victory at the event, holding off Ethiopian Tamirat Tola over the final mile to win in 59:06.
Tola, the silver medallist in the marathon at the 2017 World Championships, was second in 59:13 with Abdi Nageeye of The Netherlands third in 59:55. Further back, Callum Hawkins of Great Britain clocked 1:06:39 for fourth.