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Bill Cooksey, 102-year-old becomes oldest person to finish half-marathon at Great North Run

A 102-year-old veteran of World War II has become the oldest man to complete a half marathon after finishing the Great North Run.

Bill Cooksey, who served in the RAF between 1941 and 1951, covered the 13.1 mile course from Newcastle to South Shields with the aid of walking companion Gavin Iceton in five hours and 41 minutes.

The centenarian had previously completed 10 miles a day for 10 days for his 100th birthday and cycled 1,000 miles for his 101st birthday, and took on the challenge to support the County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust.

“I’ve always wanted to do it,” MR Cooksey told ITV ahead of the event. “I’ve been up here 30 years and always walked, and when I heard about the Great North Run I thought ‘I’ll be able to do that surely,’ because there’s the additional impetus of the NHS.

“Actually I don’t think I would have done it if it wasn’t of benefit to the NHS.”

The Great North run was hit by torrential downpours after a week of heat in the United Kingdom.

Some runners were forced to walk home after flash flooding hit roads and the Tyne and Wear Metro system.

Mr Cooksey, though, managed to survive the conditions to complete his challenge and raise more money for the NHS. “I am glad I have done it,” he said to the Daily Mail. “I wish we didn’t have to go through all that rain - but we did it.”

Pat Chambers, charity development manager at the trust, added: “What a hero Bill Cooksey is.

“He continued walking through a thunderstorm to become a record breaker completing it in just over five hours 40 minutes. We are so proud of him.”

(09/11/2023) Views: 613 ⚡AMP
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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...

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Jepchirchir and Tola win Great North Run half marathon

Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir won the women’s race in 1:06:45, while Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola claimed the men’s title in 59:58 at the Great North Run half marathon on Sunday (10).

Britain’s record-breaking warm weather continued as the elite career of one of its greatest athletes ended at the 42nd edition of the half marathon that takes participants from Newcastle to South Shields.

Mohamed Farah placed a respectable and emotional fourth in 1:03:28. He would have loved to have been on the podium in his final race, but he was no match for the Olympic and world-medal winning trio ahead.

Tola made some amends for his failure to retain his world marathon title 14 days earlier. Alongside Farah, the smooth-running Ethiopian led a group of seven athletes at 5km (14:11), then pressed on as the group climbed to the highest point of the course at five miles.

Then, on the downhill dual carriageway stretch, he showed the form which deserted him in the closing stages of the Budapest marathon. His 4:27 mile to seven broke all but Bashir Abdi, then he cranked it up to 4:20 and was 10 seconds up on the Belgian, who himself was 30 seconds ahead of Muktar Edris.

Tola’s pace slowed as the course climbed, but he still pulled away to dip under one hour. No-one else got under 61 minutes. Abdi was second in 1:01:20, while Edris was third in 1:01:54.

In the women’s race, Jepchirchir went one better than her runner-up finish in 2022.

Following a snappy 5:03 opening mile, her fellow New York Marathon winner Sharon Lokedi was her only company, but just for four miles. In the 24°C heat, Jepchirchir ran quicker than she had in kinder running conditions a year earlier. This is a woman who won the Olympic marathon when it was 31°C with 78% humidity, so heat doesn’t bother her.

Behind Jepchirchir and Lokedi, who finished second in 1:07:43, was Britain’s Charlotte Purdue, who repeated her 2021 third place finish to tune up nicely for her Berlin Marathon bid.

“I decided to run by myself,” Jepchirchir told the BBC. Both she and Lokedi are also in marathon preparations as they get ready to return to the New York City Marathon on 5 November.

As with so many mass races of this kind, there were countless human interest stories and races within races amid the 43,768 starters. One unique record was established by blind British runner Jim Roberts, who completed the distance untethered in 2:08:25.

The last word goes to Farah. “All I know is running,” declared the 10-time global track gold medallist in his post-race interview that was broadcast to the sunbaked spectators on the seafront. “That’s what made me happy for so many years.”

(09/10/2023) Views: 513 ⚡AMP
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Great North Run

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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...

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Peres Jepchirchir using Great North Run to fine tune for New York City Marathon

Reigning Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir will be competing at the Great North Run on Sunday September 10, as she gets ready to reclaim her New York City Marathon title on Sunday, November 5.

Jepchirchir missed out on last year’s event due to a hip injury but she has now recovered and will be ready to fight and reclaim her title.

She opened her season with a third-place finish at the London Marathon. The 2021 Boston Marathon champion also finished second behind Hellen Obiri at the Great Manchester Run.

The Great North Run will be a perfect place for Jepchirchir to test out her form ahead of the do-or-die assignment.

In a previous interview with New York City Marathon race organizers, Jepchirchir said: “I was so disappointed that I couldn’t defend my title in New York last year due to an injury, and winning again in Central Park has been my main motivation as I begin my preparations for the autumn.

"New York is an important step in defending my Olympic gold medal next summer in Paris, and I will do my best to make my family and my country proud.”

But before the New York City Marathon, she will face tough opposition at the Great North Run where she finished second last year.

She will be up against compatriot Sharon Lokedi who will also be competing at the New York City Marathon. Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba and Great Britain’s Charlie Purdue will also be in action at the event.

(09/06/2023) Views: 954 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wafula
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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...

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Great North Run men's elite runners in full

Elite field of 50 runners includes half-marathon world champion Geoffrey Kamworor, making his Great North Run debut, and 5,000-meter world champ Muktar Edris - who named his son after Sir Mo.

With just days to go before the world-famous Great North Run kicks off from Newcastle, organizers have revealed the full line-up of the elite male athletes from around the world who are set to lead the way.

Among the top runners on September 10 will be Sir Mo Farah taking part in his last-ever competitive event. And it's set to prove an emotional occasion for the four-time Olympic gold medalist and six-time World Champion who has won the Great North Run six times.

Sir Mo, who also will be out supporting young runners at Super Saturday events the day before the half-marathon, will be retiring from professional competition once its complete. He said: "It will definitely be emotional but I’m so happy to have the opportunity to celebrate the end of my professional career on that famous finish line.”

And the event promises to give him a good send-off as he will be in some top company. The line-up for this year's elite men's race now has been revealed and it includes an impressive roster of international athletes.

Among them will be 30-year-old Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor: a three-time World Half Marathon Champion who has won the New York Marathon twice and came second earlier this year at the London Marathon.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to taking on my first Great North Run in Newcastle - I’ve heard many good things about the event. Sir Mo Farah - he has had such an incredible career, it’s exciting to be a part of his last ever race but I’m obviously here to win and add my name to the list of champions.”

Another big challenger is set to be Muktar Edris from Ethiopia - and he is such an admirer of Sir Mo that he even named his son after the Olympian. Edris is a two-time World Champion over 5,000 meters and has a personal best time of 58.40.

He says: “I’ve raced Mo on the track but this is the first time we have met on the roads. I have great respect for him - after we raced in London 2017 World Championships, I named my son after him."

He adds: "I look forward to renewing our friendship and rivalry." Spectators will be able to watch them in action alongside the other elite runners - and the rest of the 60,000 participants - when the 42nd half-marathon gets under way in Newcastle on September 10, following its traditional route to South Shields where it will be all eyes on the finish line 13.1 miles later.

This year's run, which is due to be broadcast live on BBC1 from 10am until 2pm, is expected to raise around £25m pounds for charity.

(09/04/2023) Views: 617 ⚡AMP
by Barbara Hodgson
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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...

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Great North Run: 102-year-old walker set to be oldest entrant

At 102-years-old, Bill Cooksey hopes to become the oldest person to finish the Great North Run.

The centenarian, who walks about two miles a day to keep fit, will tackle the half marathon route from Newcastle to South Shields on 10 September.

Mr Cooksey, from Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, is raising funds to support his local NHS Trust charity and will be accompanied by two others.

"I hope it will encourage other people to try the same thing," he said.

Due to his age, Mr Cooksey will be accompanied by his friend Gavin Hasting and Sue Jacques, chief executive of County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust.

The RAF veteran set himself a challenge of walking 100 miles (161km) when he turned 100 years old, trekking 10 miles a day for 10 days along the Locomotion Way between Newton Aycliffe and Shildon stations.

Not stopping there, the retired teacher clocked up 1,000 miles (1609km) on his tricycle to celebrate his 101st birthday.

He has been given a special Great North Run 102 number, signed by the half marathon's founder Sir Brendan Foster.

"Very often you get to the the same age and say 'that's it, I'm not supposed to be able to do this' but I just carried on as normal and I shall continue to do so until I am forced to stop," Mr Cooksey told BBC Radio Newcastle.

"I don't think that record will stand for long - there will be people out there who are much fitter than I am, and they will decide, 'well if he can do it, I can do it' - and good luck to them," he added.

Mr Cooksey, who was born in Wales, has enjoyed walking since his retirement in 1980.

He recently walked 12 miles (19km) between Seaton Carew and Hartlepool to test his fitness in terms of being able to do the 13.1 mile (21km) course.

The father-of-three encouraged everybody to walk at least two miles a day and has completed all the long-distance paths in Northern England.

"When I am doing an ordinary walk I don't make any attempt of hurrying, I just saunter along," he said, adding: "You go out to walk for solitude and to think about things."

He said he put his good health down to keeping active, as well as a good diet and lifestyle.

"The only thing I regret is having to give up dancing, I think that's another secret to good health," he added.

(09/02/2023) Views: 588 ⚡AMP
by Andy Watson and Chris Robinson
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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...

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Edris and Kamworor take on Farah at Great North Run

Tough opposition for the Brit on his final competitive appearance on September 10.

Mo Farah will renew his rivalry with two of his old adversaries – Geoffrey Kamworor and Muktar Edris – in his last competitive appearance in the AJ Bell Great North Run next week.

Kamworor is a three-time world half-marathon champion and two-time winner of the New York City Marathon in addition to finishing runner-up in the London Marathon five months ago.

The Kenyan says: “I’m really looking forward to taking on my first Great North Run in Newcastle, as I’ve heard many good things about the event.

“Sir Mo Farah he has had such an incredible career, it’s exciting to be a part of his last ever race, but I’m obviously here to win and add my name to the list of champions.”

Edris, meanwhile, won the world 5000m title in 2017 ahead of Farah and then successfully defended his title in 2019. Over half-marathon he has a best of 58:40 and says: “I’ve raced Mo on the track but this is the first time we have met on the roads.

“I have great respect for him. After we raced in London 2017 World Championships, I named my son after him and I look forward to renewing our friendship and rivalry.”

One week before the Great North Run, Farah, who is now 40, races in the Big Half in London (September 3) with the event acting as the half-marathon trial for the World Road Running Champs in Latvia on October 1.

(08/30/2023) Views: 590 ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson
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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...

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Mo Farah says Great North Run will be his final race

Britain's four-times Olympic champion Mo Farah said he will end his athletics career at the Great North Run in September.

Farah finished ninth in his final marathon in London on Sunday, clocking 2:10:28 - nine minutes behind winner Kelvin Kiptum.

The 40-year-old will compete at the 10km Great Manchester Run on May 21 before the Great North Run half-marathon on Sept. 10.

"Part of me was wanting to cry," Farah told BBC on Sunday after the London Marathon. "I will miss that feeling, I am emotional today.

"I want to pass that on. The Great North Run is going to be my last ever run and that will be my goodbye.

"My career has been amazing, my wife and kids have been with me throughout this journey and I want to give time to them now, as well as getting involved in grassroots sport and give back to this sport."

Farah has won the Great North Run six times.

(04/26/2023) Views: 632 ⚡AMP
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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...

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Eilish McColgan to run 2023 Great North Run

Scottish runner hopes to follow in the footsteps of mum Liz by winning iconic half-marathon in September.

Eilish McColgan will return to the AJ Bell Great North Run this year, for her first competitive race on the iconic city to sea course, on Sunday September 10. The Scot took on the event for first time in 2021 on an alternate course that had been modified due to pandemic related restrictions and finished runner-up to Hellen Obiri.

McColgan ran 67:48 on that occasion although she improved to a UK record of 66:26 at the Ras Al Khaimah event in 2022.

This year she will be following in the footsteps of her mum, Liz McColgan, who was a prolific presence at the event in the 1990s, taking top spot in 1992, 1995 and 1996.

“I have such amazing memories of coming to Newcastle and taking part in the Junior Great North Run events,” said Eilish.

“We also have a great family history at the Great North Run, with mum being a three-time winner, so I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do on the original course.

“The pandemic course included a lot of uphill sections and was quite challenging, so I’m hoping for a much faster run this year.”

After an incredible 2022 on and off the track, Eilish has already confirmed plans to prioritise road running in 2023 ahead of her debut in the TCS London Marathon in April.

Brendan Foster, founder of the Great North Run, said: “After so many memorable performances from her mum, Liz, over the years, it’s wonderful for me to have the opportunity to invite Eilish back to the Great North Run this year.

“We’re delighted to confirm she will be back on the start line in September, she is an incredible ambassador for the sport and an inspiration to so many runners. We’re working on a competitive field and we’re sure it will be one to remember.”

(02/13/2023) Views: 654 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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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...

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Jacob Kiplimo wins the Great North Run after fantastic tributes were paid to the Queen

World record holder Jacob Kiplimo became the first Ugandan man to win the Great North Run after tributes were paid to Queen Elizabeth II before Sunday' race.

Kiplimo powered to victory in his first appearance at the event in north-east England.

The 21-year-old had a 32-second lead as he hit the 12-mile mark on the 13.1-mile course from Newcastle to South Shields.

Kiplimo, the reigning world half-marathon champion, crossed the line in 59.33, 66 seconds ahead of Olympic 10,000m champion Selemon Barega, with Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele third in 1.01.01.

"I enjoyed the race, it was nice. I came here to win it," Kiplimo said.

In the women's race, Kenya's Hellen Obiri retained the title after holding off strong challenges from Peres Jepchirchir.

The trio broke away from the field early in the race and contested a tense finale.

Obiri made the decisive kick in sight of the finish line as she clocked 1:07.05, 37 seconds faster than last year, with her compatriot Jepchirchir, the Olympic marathon champion, two seconds behind and Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana a further three seconds adrift.

"It's a great opportunity to do a faster one than last time, so I'm so happy," Obiri said.

(09/11/2022) Views: 1,113 ⚡AMP
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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...

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Organizers of the Great North Run have confirmed the main race will go ahead on Sunday in wake of Queen Elizabeth death

Issuing a statement on Friday, September 9, the Great Run Company confirmed a number of changes to the weekend’s planned events following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II – but said that the main half marathon between Newcastle and South Shields will run as normal.

The Junior and Mini Great North Runs – scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 10 – have been cancelled.

Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday, September 8 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. She was 96.

(09/09/2022) Views: 797 ⚡AMP
by Debra Fox
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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...

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Hellen Obiri to defend Great North Run title, Peres Jepchirchir in the mix

Defending champion Hellen Obiri and Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir will be in the women’s lineup for the Great North Run slated for September 11 in the streets of Newcastle.

Obiri won last year’s edition in 1:07:42. She is a two-time world 5000m champion and a two-time Olympic 5000m silver medalist. Obiri has a personal best time of 1:04:22 which she ran at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in February.

Jepchirchir, who will be making her debut, has a personal best time of 1:05.06 which she ran at the 2017 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon. She placed first during the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in 2016 and 2020 in respective times of 1:07:31 and 1:05:16. Jepchirchir is also a former world half marathon record holder. 

The Kenyan duo will be competing against the Ethiopian duo of Hiwot Gebrekidan and former Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana. Gebrekidan and Ayana have personal best times of 1:06:47 and 1:07:12 respectively.

Gebrekidan is the winner of the 2016 Copenhagen Half Marathon. She is also a former World Under-20 3000m silver medalist. Ayana won in the 2017 edition of the New Delhi Half Marathon. She is also a former world 10,000m record holder when she broke China’s Wang Junxia record during the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Charlotte Purdue and Jess Piasecki, both from Great Britain will also be in the race. Purdue placed third during last year’s edition of the Great North Run. She has a personal best time of 1:08:23 which she ran at the 2020 Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon in Japan. 

Piasecki has a personal best time of 1:07:20 which she ran at this year’s Santa Pola Half Marathon in Spain. She is also the winner of the 2019 Usti Half Marathon in Czech Republic. She will also be making her Great North Run half marathon debut.

(09/05/2022) Views: 981 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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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...

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Fit-again Peres Jepchirchir to debut at Great North Run

Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir will make her return from injury when she debuts at the Great North Run Half Marathon on September 11 in England.

Jepchirchir, who resumed training three weeks ago, said the pain from the hip injury that locked her out of the World Athletics Championships in July in Oregon, United States, had eased.

“I feel much better now with the pain having subsided. My doctor advised me to return to training gradually and all is well as for now,” said Jepchirchir, ahead of the race that will start at Newcastle upon Tyne before ending at South Shields.

Jepchirchir was a late inclusion in the women’s marathon team for the World Athletics Championships, but withdrew days before the start of the event on July 15 with the advice from Team Kenya physician Victor Bargoria.

“It was disappointing, but I would rather not aggravate the injury since we still have another world event next year before my Olympic title defence at the 2024 Paris Summer Games,” said Jepchirchir, who hopes to use the Great North Run as part of her preparations for her New York City Marathon title defense on November 6 this year.

Judith Jeptum went on to claim silver for Kenya in Oregon, clocking a personal best of two hours, 18 minutes and 20 seconds, as Ethiopian Gotytom Gebreslase won the race in a Championship Record time of 2:18:11.

Another Kenyan Angela Tanui settled sixth in 2:22:15 as defending champion Ruth Chepngétich pulled out during the race with stomach problems.

Jepchirchir became the second Kenyan woman to win the Olympic title when she swept to victory in the streets of Sapporo, Japan in 2:27:20 seconds on August 7, 2021.

Kenyan women have won the last eight editions of the Great North Run with Hellen Obiri claiming victory last year in one hour, 07 minutes and 42 seconds.

Women’s world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei holds the Great North Run course record with her victory of 1:04:28 in 2019.

The 2020 event was canceled due to Covid-19.

(08/23/2022) Views: 838 ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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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...

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Selemon Barega, Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo will all be competing at the Great North Run

Tokyo Olympics 10,000m medalists Selemon Barega, Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo will all be competing at the Great North Run on September 11.

Ethiopia's Barega won gold in Tokyo ahead of Uganda's Cheptegei and Kiplimo.

It will be the first time the trio have raced each other on the road.

"I'm looking forward to making my debut at the most prestigious half marathon in the world," said Barega.

Cheptegei added: "The Great North Run has been the biggest half marathon for so many years. If you look at those who have won there it's always been true champions. I am honored to compete there."

The iconic race, from Newcastle to South Shields, will be shown live on the BBC.

"We're really looking forward to bringing this competitive race to the streets of Newcastle," said Sir Brendan Foster, the Great North Run founder.

"All three are competing at the World Championships this summer, so rivalries will start in Eugene and end in South Shields.

"For the last four decades we've seen the greats of distance running compete on Tyneside.

"It's really exciting to have the opportunity to host the next generation of superstars, we might even see a new course record."

The race will return to its iconic city to sea route after two years of changes because of the Covid pandemic and 60,000 people have entered the event.

Last year's champion, Britain's Marc Scott, will return to the race looking to upset the odds and defend the title he won over last year's adapted course.

(07/02/2022) Views: 881 ⚡AMP
by Athletics
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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...

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Great North Run 2021: Thousands take part as event returns

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Tyneside for the 40th staging of the Great North Run.

Last year's event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic and organisers changed the half-marathon's route this year to aid social distancing.

Participants started and finished in Newcastle rather than making their way to South Shields.

Staggered timeslots replaced the traditional mass start for the world's biggest half-marathon.

About 57,000 people were registered to take part - raising millions of pounds for charity, The Great North Run Company said.

The new route saw runners cross the Tyne Bridge twice and make their way through Newcastle city centre before finishing on the Great North Road.

BBC commentator and former winner Paul Radcliffe said the event's return had been "emotional".

"Looking down the road and seeing all the runners, a lot of hard work has gone into making this happen.

"It was so needed just to see this step back towards people getting together, having fun and connecting."

Four NHS workers were invited to start the race in recognition of the health service's efforts during the pandemic.

Speaking afterwards, occupational health worker Deborah Southworth said it had been "absolutely amazing" and a "privilege".

Jade Trewick, a nurse who also helped get the event under way, said it came after a "difficult but really rewarding" 18 months treating coronavirus patients.

Sir Brendan Foster, who helped launch the event in 1981, said it had been "a tough task" organising this year's run but it had turned into an "incredible" success.

"It's been really difficult. For the last 18 months, the whole nation and world have had awful times.

"The pandemic has separated people, but the Great North Run is all about being together.

"When the vaccine came around we started thinking maybe we can [stage it this year] so we made all kinds of contingency plans.

"Here we are. It's different. It's a one-off."

The elite women's race was won by Kenyan Helen Obiri in a time of 1:07:42, ahead of Great Britain's Eilish McColgan, who was six seconds behind.

Scotland's McColgan was aiming to repeat her mum Liz's three victories at the event in the 1990s. Great Britain's Charlotte Purdue finished in third.

Marc Scott, also of Great Britain, was victorious in the men's elite race, clocking a time of 1:01:22 to finish nine seconds ahead of Kenya's Ed Cheserek.

Galen Rupp of the United States was a further 20 seconds behind in third place.

Sean Frame won the men's wheelchair race in 49:52 with fellow Briton Shelly Woods first across the finishing line in the women's event in 57:01.

The elite wheelchair and women's races began at about 09:20 BST, with the elite men and first of the staggered starts at 09:45.

(09/12/2021) Views: 1,103 ⚡AMP
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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...

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American Galen Rupp And Olympic Marathon Bronze Medalist Bashir Abdi will Lead Field For The Great North Run Half-Marathon

After having its anniversary celebrations scuppered by the pandemic last year, the Great North Run returns on September 12 with a redesigned course as many of the athletics stars of 2021 meet over the 13.1-mile distance.

For the first time since 2013 there will be a men’s winner other than Mo Farah. The multiple global track gold medallist won the Great North Run from 2014-2019 and the 2020 race was called off. But the new champion could still have strong links to Farah.

The women’s race also sees top runners from the track and roads collide. Hellen Obiri, the world 5000m champion from Kenya, faces Molly Seidel, the American marathon runner who won a surprise bronze medal at the Olympics.

British hopes, meanwhile, are led by Eilish McColgan, who is making her debut at the distance after a fine track season, plus Charlotte Purdue ahead of racing at the Virgin Money London Marathon on October 3.

The athletes will be following in famous footsteps as the event first took place in June 1981. The first man home that day was local runner Mike McLeod and the England footballer Kevin Keegan effectively became the first celebrity runner when he took part wearing a top that incorporated the colours of Newcastle and Sunderland.

“I think there is an extra significance to this year,” says race founder Brendan Foster. “It will demonstrate that the country’s getting back to normal and that ordinary people are getting back to doing what they want to do.”

The course starts and finishes in the centre of Newcastle, crossing the Tyne Bridge twice, with live coverage on BBC.

In the men’s race much will depend on how well Abdi and Rupp have recovered from the Olympic marathon five weeks ago.

Abdi clocked 2:10:00 that day in hot conditions but has a best of 2:04:49 from Tokyo last year. The 32-year-old also has run 60:42 on the old Great North Run course that finished in South Shields.

Rupp won Olympic 10,000m silver behind Farah in 2012 and marathon bronze in Rio in 2016 before finishing eighth in the marathon in Tokyo last month. His half-marathon best is 59:47.

(09/09/2021) Views: 1,182 ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson
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Sir Mo Farah out of Great North Run but he will return to competition next year

Sir Mo Farah will not defend his Great North Run title this weekend but will return to competition next year.

Britain’s most decorated athlete, who has won the last six GNRs, took part in Soccer Aid last weekend despite a stress fracture in his foot.

He appeared briefly as a substitute at the Etihad before limping off and it has been confirmed he has no plans to race in the foreseeable future.

Farah, 38, failed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in June and his reaction sparked speculation he was about to retire.

“I’ve always said if I can’t compete with the best I won’t just go to be in a final,” he said that evening. “Tonight showed it’s not good enough.”

However, Great North Run founder Sir Brendan Foster revealed: “I can assure you Mo isn’t going to finish and I can assure you he’ll compete in the Great North Run again.

“He literally can’t run this weekend and he’s gutted about that as he’s won every year since 2014. We’ve never had anybody as successful as him and everyone will miss him.

“But forget all the talk that he is going to finish. He’s assured me he’ll be running seriously again next summer.”

Next summer sees three major events, with the Birmingham Commonwealth Games sandwiched between World and European Athletics Championships.

The Worlds take place in Oregon where Farah lived and trained for six years. The Somali-born Londoner is a six-time world champion.

(09/08/2021) Views: 1,138 ⚡AMP
by Alex Spink
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Great North Run is facing struggle over insurance guarantee

The Great North Run is facing a "struggle" because of issues getting insurance in case it has to be called off due to Covid-19, the founder says.

Sir Brendan Foster said "the key tool" in holding major events was missing and there had been "a huge market failure".

He said organizers faced being liable for costs and called on the government and insurance sector to meet.

The government said it was aware of the "wider concerns" around securing indemnity and was "exploring" support.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI), which represents the sector, said it was "happy to continue to engage with the government".

The Great North Run - the world's largest half marathon - was set to celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2020 but it had to be held virtually because of coronavirus.

This year's event is due to take place on September 12, with about 57,000 adults set to run between Newcastle and South Shields.

Sir Brendan said organizers were "cautiously optimistic" it would take place but they would look to hold an alternative if the event was unable to go ahead as planned.

"We will struggle, we will have to look forward to see how we can do it, we will have to see what shape we can do it," he said.

This is not about the Great North Run, this is about the government seeking to bring it back to normal and seeking to make sure that Britain gets back on its feet by the autumn.

"Unfortunately, to open up these large events and to ease the restriction on these large events, the key tool in doing that is missing at the moment because the insurance industry is not available to offer insurance."

The government said its events research programme would consider how effective various measures were at reducing transmission risk at large events, including using testing.

"The programme will start this weekend with pilot events carried out across a range of settings, venue and activity types," it said.

The ABI said it had made it clear to the government "the very limited risks" the commercial market was able to provide cover for.

"With the Covid-19 public health emergency continuing to present a significant risk of cancellation or disruption, commercial insurers remain unable to offer this type of cover, or only at a cost that is unaffordable for many," a spokesperson said.

"Insurers continue to provide support for a wide range of other risks, and event organizers should discuss their needs with their insurance advisers, who can fully explore all insurance options in the market."

(04/16/2021) Views: 1,025 ⚡AMP
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Great North Run Organizers Make Plans for September and searching ways to make the event safe for all who enter

Great North Run organizers make plans for September despite COVID-19.

Organizers of The Great North Run are making plans for the iconic half marathon to go ahead in September, despite the COVID pandemic that has the world in its grip. They are in search of ways to make the half marathon safe for all who enter.

Last year the event was cancelled and it is thought that the loss of the event cost the local economy around £30 million. Although a Virtual Great North Run took place. Last year should have been the 40th anniversary but unfortunately the event had to be postponed due to the pandemic, and rescheduled for Sunday, September 12, 2021.

Paul Foster, CEO at The Great Run Company, said, “This year’s Great North Run is scheduled to take place on Sunday 12 September. As always, our runners safety is our number one priority and we’re working really hard behind the scenes to make sure the event can be delivered in a Covid secure way.

“Like everyone, we are closely monitoring the ongoing situation and will update our customers if there are any changes to the planned programme.”

The global pandemic is still affecting the world and as new strains of the virus are being discovered the future of events is uncertain for the second year in a row. It was only announced last week that the Glastonbury music festival will not be happening in 2021.

(01/28/2021) Views: 978 ⚡AMP
by Alex Glenn
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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...

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The 2020 Virtual Great North Run offers last chance to register before deadline

The deadline is approaching for anyone still wanting to sign up a virtual Great North Run Solo event which is one of two running challenges set to raise a whopping half-a-million pounds for a Covid-19 charity.

The online event was announced on the back of the cancellation of this year's half-marathon, due to the coronavirus crisis, and it will be taking place right up to September 13.

That's the day that should have seen the Great North Run celebrate its 40-year anniversary and the challenge - taking place during what would have been the normal training period for the world-famous half-marathon - is to complete 40 runs: one for every year of the event.

And medals await.

Runners, who pay £10 to take part, have just days left to register before the deadline of July 31.

The profits from that and from a second running challenge, Great Run Solo, will go to the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal which helps patients, staff and volunteers affected by the virus.

Great Run Solo, also with a £10 entry charge, was first introduced in May as an idea to keep people active during lockdown and the combined events have had 30,000 entrants to date, with a fund-raising total now standing at more £200,000 and expected to increase to £250,000 in coming weeks.

The Great North Run Solo attracted the bulk of the entries, gaining more than 20,000 in just three weeks, making it what is believed to be the biggest virtual running challenge ever launched by an individual event in the UK.

Both events have been created by the organisers of the Great North Run as part of a campaign to give everyone a chance to commemorate the half-marathon this year despite its cancellation.

The Great North Run Reimagined campaign is also set to announce more plans soon for its main event which will take place on September 13 itself.

This will be the Official Virtual Great North Run, a real-time experience which will be open to all and free to enter. In return participants are being asked to fund-raise, as they would for the real deal, to support their own charities of choice.

Entries to take part in this are set to open on Monday, August 3.

Paul Foster, chief executive of The Great Run Company, said that the team is thrilled that so many people are keen to enter the solo challenge leading up to the big day.

“We believe it is the biggest virtual running challenge that has been launched by a single event in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic – if not ever," he said.

“We’d urge people to get involved in the virtual challenges and ensure the Great North Run still has a presence in 2020.”

(07/22/2020) Views: 1,193 ⚡AMP
by Barbara Hodgson
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The Great North Run has been Cancelled

This year’s Great North Run in September has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The iconic half marathon race, which raises more than £25 million for charity, was due to take place on 13 September, but race organisers have now confirmed it will not go ahead due to health risks.

A statement read: “Today, we have confirmed the cancellation of the 2020 Great North Run. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic mean it isn’t possible to stage the event as planned this year.

The 40th Great North Run is now scheduled to take place on 12 September 2021, while the Great Manchester Run on 6 September has also been cancelled, with its next edition of the race set for 23 May, 2021.

Runners who had their place confirmed by the 2020 Ballot or through membership have the option of rolling their entry over to next year. While charity runners should wait to be contacted directly in the coming days or weeks to secure a place at next year’s race.

While the rescheduled London Marathon remains on for now, with 4 October the revised date.

(06/15/2020) Views: 1,260 ⚡AMP
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The general entry ballot opens for the 40th Annual Great North Run

Famous half-marathon from Newcastle to South Shields celebrates landmark edition in 2020.

The general entry ballot for the world’s biggest half-marathon, the Great North Run, is now open.

The famous event will add another milestone to its rich history when it is staged for the 40th time on Sunday September 13, having been the first event of its kind to welcome home one million finishers back in 2014.

First staged in 1981 with 12,000 runners, the iconic half-marathon has grown to now accept 57,000 entries, with over 200,000 supporters estimated to line the route which takes runners from the center of Newcastle to the coast line of South Shields.

Organizers say the 40th Great North Run – GNR40 – will be a celebration of the landmark staging and the people and places that have made the event great, with the race again set to be broadcast live on BBC television for four hours.

Last year saw four-time Olympic track gold medalist Mo Farah continue his winning streak with a sixth consecutive victory, while Brigid Kosgei – who would go on to break the marathon world record in Chicago – became the fastest ever female over the half-marathon distance, clocking 64:28.

In 2020, a series of activities and experiences are planned to celebrate the 40th staging, including a specially commissioned film charting the history of the event.

The Great North 5km will also take place and the Junior and Mini Great North Run will again transform the  Newcastle Gates Head Quayside into a sea of runners.

Runners can register for the Great North Run ballot at www.greatrun.org/north. The ballot will close at 9pm on Sunday February 9.

(01/08/2020) Views: 2,180 ⚡AMP
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Brit Darren McClintock Loses 266lbs, then Runs Half Marathon With His Trainer

A morbidly obese fast food addict who was given a “diet or die” ultimatum from his doctors not only lost 266 pounds, he also completed a half marathon with his personal trainer.

Twenty-eight-year-old Brit Darren McClintock, nicknamed “Dibsy,” weighed 560 pounds (approx. 254 kg) in 2018. Doctors warned Dibsy that his junk food habit may very well send him to an early grave, and the shocking revelation spurred the young man into action.

Personal trainer Mike Hind, notorious for his practice of taking on one pro bono client every year, noticed Dibsy and his mom outside his healthy diner one day and offered the overweight man his assistance. It was the boost Dibsy needed to get started on his formidable weight loss journey.

Hind, a married father of three, had an ingenious idea. He planted posters around Dibsy’s hometown of Middlesbrough, England, urging fast-food vendors not to serve his client.

“Save Dibsy,” the poster read. “Obesity is killing him. Do not serve this man.”

Dibsy had succumbed to comfort eating after losing his father at the age of 18. Unemployed and unable to find clothes that fit, Dibsy was debilitated by his excess weight. According to The Sun, he even spent his nights sleeping on the sofa, unable to climb the stairs to bed.

Dibsy pledged to give up his vices: fast food, fizzy drinks, and alcohol. He pledged to reduce his staggering 11,000 daily calorie consumption, and Hind helped his overweight friend to design the perfect, tailor-made exercise regime.

According to the United Kingdom’s government statistics, 29 percent of adults in the United Kingdom were classified as obese in 2018. In the United States, this figure was 39.8 percent for the last recorded year (2016), as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hind provided Dibsy with the expert advice and moral support he needed to thrive on his new regime. With hard work, determination, and gargantuan willpower, Dibsy started to see impressive results.

Ten months after his weight loss journey began, Dibsy had lost almost half his original body weight. In celebration of his progress, Dibsy completed the Great North Run in Newcastle, England, on Sept. 8, 2019.

“I’m under no illusions that it will be a hard, long day,” Dibsy told ITV ahead of the run, incidentally the world’s biggest half marathon. “But my heart won’t give up, and I’m in a good position now to do it.”

As good as his word, Dibsy finished the race in a triumphant 2 hours and 43 minutes.

The runner spoke to Teeside Live after crossing the finish line. “I didn’t realize how much support there would be, people shouting along the way, it was unbelievable,” Dibsy said.

“It’s an amazing feeling afterwards, knowing you have done it,” the young runner continued. “I found it hard but the sense of achievement is unbelievable.” Dibsy hopes to achieve an even better finishing time in 2020.

(12/03/2019) Views: 1,666 ⚡AMP
by Louise Bevan
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Brigid Kosgei breaks half marathon world best time clocking 1:04:28 at Great North Run as Mo Farah wins sixth title finishing in 59:06

Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei has broken the world half marathon record at the Great North Run, finishing in a time of 1hr 04min 28sec. Kenya’s women filled the top four places, but Kosgei finished more than three minutes ahead of the second-placed Magdalyne Masai (1:07:36), with Linet Masai third and the three-times winner Mary Keitany fourth.

Being that the course is point to point and slightly down hill the time will not qualify for an official world record.  

Britain’s Charlotte Purdue finished fifth in 1:08:10 and will be buoyed by her form as she prepares for the World Athletics Championships in Doha later this month.

Sir Mo Farah won the men’s elite race for a record sixth successive year. The four-times Olympic track gold medallist was pushed hard by Tamirat Tola but the 36-year-old proved too strong for the Ethiopian in the final mile, to finish the 13.1-mile half marathon course in 59:06.

Tola, 7sec behind Farah, crossed the line 42sec ahead of the third-placed Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands, with Britain’s Callum Hawkins coming home fourth in 1:00:39.

British men finished first and third in the men’s wheelchair race as David Weir came home first in 43:31 ahead of the Canadian Brent Lakatos (43:36) and Simon Lawson (45:58).

In the women’s wheelchair race, Jade Hall triumphed in 50:15 ahead of her fellow Briton Shelly Woods (51:41) and the third-placed Pole Martyna Snopek (1:06:38).

(09/08/2019) Views: 2,756 ⚡AMP
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Kenyans Mary Keitany and Brigid Kosgei will clash on the streets of Newcastle, U.K. in the Great North Run on Sunday

The two last met in London in April, with Kosgei snatching the gold medal in dominant style heralding a changing of the guard from the aging Keitany to the new girl on the bloc.

But the veteran Keitany will seek another chance to prove she is no spent force in their big clash over the half marathon distance in Newcastle, in a race won last year by Vivian Cheruiyot with Kosgei coming in second.

Keitany is preparing for the defense of her New York Marathon title on November 3, while Kosgei will be putting her Chicago Marathon gold on the line on October 13.

"Another chance to gauge my preparations for Chicago Marathon. I will be running in Newcastle," said Kosgei on Wednesday.

Keitany has a PB of 64:55 for the half marathon, whereas Kosgei clocked a best of 65:28 for the 13.1 mile-distance earlier this year.

2009 world 10,000m champion Linet Masai, together with her younger sister Magdalyne Masai, will also bolster the Kenyan presence in Newcastle.

The leading locals in the women's race at the Great North Run are Charlotte Purdue and Steph Twell.

In the men's race, Britain's Mo Farah will face opposition from Ethiopia's world marathon silver medalist Tamirat Tola, world fourth-placer Callum Hawkins and training partner Bashir Abdi.

There is big British interest in the event, with Purdue using the race as part of her build up to this year's World Marathon Championships in Doha.

(09/05/2019) Views: 1,884 ⚡AMP
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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...

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A new film will be made about The Great North Run to celebrate its 40th year

A new film is to be made about The Great North Run. It'll be released next year to celebrate the event's 40th birthday.

The Great North Run Foundation has been awarded a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £250,000 to make the film which will tell the story of the event through the voices of the people that have made the Great North Run great.

As well as the runners, volunteers and local spectators that support them along the way, the project will feature; the bands that play along the route, the small charities that wouldn’t exist without funds raised, the Scout group that gives out the water bottles, the first aiders that provide comfort and care and many, many more.

Horrible Histories author Terry Deary will narrate the film.

Just 12,000 runners took on the first ever Great North Run on the 28th June 1981. Founded by North East Olympian, Brendan Foster, and a small group of friends, they had no idea what the event would eventually come to be.

Now it's the world’s biggest Half Marathon with 57,000 people of all ages and abilities sign up every year to take on the 13.1 mile challenge from Newcastle to South Shields.

“When we first started out, we could never have imagined where this journey would take us. 40 years is a very special milestone and we can’t wait to celebrate with our runners, incredible volunteers, first rate spectators and the rest of the region.

“We know so many people have brilliant memories of the event. Wherever I go, people stop me to tell me about their own Great North Run experiences and what it means to them.

“We want to create a record of the impact of the race on people’s lives, and explore the heritage of the race in the context of the changing social, cultural and industrial landscape of the region.

“It will be a privilege to capture some of these memories forever in this film and share them with the next generation.”

The film will be broadcast nationally in 2020 and those making it are looking for YOUR stories as well as your footage and pictures.

(08/31/2019) Views: 1,800 ⚡AMP
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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...

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Katie Johnstone will take part in Great North Run 2019 to find cure for disease that killed her mum

Katie Johnstone will take part in Great North Run 2019 in memory of her much-loved mum. Katie Johnstone says her mum, Emma, died in June 2018 at the age of 44 after a long illness with Huntingson's Disease.

This is a condition that stops parts of the brain working properly over time. It's inherited from a person's parents.

It gets gradually worse over time and is usually fatal after a period of up to 20 years. The mum-of-three started experiencing symptoms in her early 30s, which stopped her from pursuing her dream career as a midwife.

"Not a lot of people know what Huntingson's Disease is," says Katie. "When I was growing up, my mum had present symptoms and sometimes stumbled. People used to laugh and think she was drunk.

"It really upset me, I was around nine or 10 years old."

Katie was tested for the disease and the tests came back negative in July.

However, she 'feels guilty' to have escaped the illness as her sister, 21-year-old Holly, has been diagnosed with a juvenile form of the condition.

She explained: "She got her diagnosis a couple of years ago. It's heartbreaking. "It's a 50/50 chance [you will inherit it]. I do feel guilty for getting away from it.

"But I need to support my sister and she was very happy for me with my results." Katie's grandmother also died from the disease at the age of 47.

By taking part in the 13 mile run, the 25-year-old is hoping to raise awareness of the disease as well as money for the Huntingson's Disease Association.

The charity works to fund research into the illness, with the hope of finding a cure - as there is no cure currently. Katie said: "My aim is to raise awareness of this rare disease and raise money for the charity to fund research to help find a cure.

"This disease devastates families all over the world. There is only around 12 people in every 100,000 people who suffer from this disease.

(08/17/2019) Views: 1,871 ⚡AMP
by Chantelle heeds
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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...

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Eamonn Gribben the founder of a South Tyneside nursery is taking part in the Great North Run, to raise money for children under his care with life-limiting conditions

Eamonn Gribben, 59, is director of the Early Learning Partnership, which runs nurseries throughout South Tyneside. For his third half marathon, he has chosen four special children to raise funds for, all of whom attend a different nursery in the borough.

Eamonn is hoping to raise £4,000 - £1,000 each - for the children and their families, in the hopes of making a positive impact on their lives and providing them with support for their future.

“In my 20 years at the nurseries, I’ve seen a lot of suffering and I just wanted to do something positive,” said Eamonn, who lives in The Nook, South Shields.

“As a nursery we’re trying to do as much as we can and I wanted to physically do something to raise money and awareness, supporting children who all have unique disabilities and needs.”

He added: “We know the parents, so we understand the needs of the child, so I wanted to give the money directly to the parents and the children.”

Eamonn will be joined on the day by Lee Sinclair, dad to four-year-old Carter, who suffers from spina bifida and previously attended Harton Village Kindergarten. Last year Eamonn raised more than £1,000 for the youngster.

“As I ran it for Carter last year I wanted other children to get a chance,” he explained.

“The families have been overwhelmed that we would want to raise money for them.”

 

(08/12/2019) Views: 1,930 ⚡AMP
by Sarah Sinclair
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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...

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Sunderland actress Anna Murray reveals how dad's cancer inspired her to take part in this year’s Great North Run

Grease musical star Anna Murray, 27, is preparing to run the half marathon from Newcastle to South Shields in September to raise funds for the Throat Cancer Foundation after her dad Michael, 59, was given the all clear.

The singer and actress, who is originally from Sunderland but now lives in London, told how watching her dad endure grueling cancer treatment had a devastating impact on her family.

Her dad Michael Murray, a financial advisor for a pharmaceutical company, was diagnosed with throat cancer aged 53 in October 2012 despite having never been ill his entire life.Anna said: “It came as a massive shock to all of the family.

My dad had never smoked a cigarette in his life and he was a really healthy, energetic man.

“He had a sore throat and went to the doctors but it didn’t seem to be going away so he went back and forth to the doctors for months.“By chance they put a camera down and they caught it.

”Michael was forced to undergo grueling chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment throughout the 2012 Christmas period – radiotherapy five days every week and chemotherapy every Friday for six exhaustive weeks.

Michael is been left without the ability to taste and suffers from a permanently dry mouth.Anna added: “He’s doing really well now but he’s been affected for life.

He had to be fed through a tube and it was awful to see the strongest man in our family so weak. “I found it awful emotionally and I really struggled with it and so did my brother. My mum, who is a nurse, became the backbone of our family.

”Kindhearted Anna will be joined by family friend Sally Harris to raise funds for the Throat Cancer Foundation when they both take part in the 13.1 mile run on September 9. Anna continued: “I’ve always wanted to do the Great North. It holds a special place in my heart and I’ve always wanted to run for this charity.”

(07/30/2019) Views: 2,023 ⚡AMP
by Tom Patterson
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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...

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Mo Farah wants to become the first runner to win six consecutive Simplyhealth Great North Run titles

The 10-time global gold medallist will return to the Great Noeth half-marathon in September.

Like last year, the 10-time global gold medallist will again use the event as part of his preparations for the Chicago Marathon, where he will defend his title on October 13.

At the 2018 edition of the Great North Run, Farah clocked 59:26 before breaking the European marathon record with his winning time of 2:05:11 in Chicago.

“I’m going to be giving it my best shot,” said Farah, on targeting a sixth victory. “Winning it once was special enough, to win it for the sixth time would be unbelievable.

“It was a massive part of my preparations for Chicago last year and it will be as important this year.

“The Simplyhealth Great North Run is one of my favourite races, it’s something that I always look forward to and I can’t wait to be back on that start line in Newcastle in September.”

Farah has a winning record dating back to 2014 on the famous 13.1-mile course between Newcastle and South Shields.

Only Farah and Tanni Grey-Thompson have won five consecutive Great North Run races in the event’s 39-year history, with Grey-Thompson’s last victory in the wheelchair event claimed 20 years ago.

(07/24/2019) Views: 2,053 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Simplyhealth Great North Run

Simplyhealth Great North Run

Enjoy the best tour of the Tyne at the North East's biggest 10k. This summer event finishes inside the iconic Gateshead International Stadium. The course goes under the iconic Tyne Bridge and heads along to the Sage Gateshead and BALTIC before bending back along the Quayside for a triumphant lap of the Gateshead International Stadium track, cheered on by your...

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A brain cancer patient is set to take on the Great North Run, just months after finishing his treatment

Simon Lindsley, 24, from Houghton, is running to raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust charity, which provides specialist nursing care to 13-to-24-year-olds with the disease and supported him during his treatment.

Simon was diagnosed with a brain tumour in December 2017 after experiencing memory loss and confusion. After brain surgery, he received radiotherapy on the charity’s unit at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, followed by a year of chemotherapy.

The charity’s nurses helped him by explaining his condition in simple terms, while youth support coordinators organised activities to take his mind off treatment.

During his final week of treatment Simon was inspired to sign up for the half-marathon on September 8, despite not having been able to exercise for 18 months.

Simon said: “I have never done anything like this before. But after this last year-and-a-half, I have such a drive to push on through this. As soon as I get over that finish line in September, I’ll know I can still do anything I put my mind to.

“So far I’ve raised over £900 for Teenage Cancer Trust through my Great North Run fundraising.

“I hope that this donation helps Teenage Cancer Trust provide the same help and support that I received and helps others that are going through the same thing.”

(07/04/2019) Views: 1,563 ⚡AMP
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Great North Run

Great North Run

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...

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Inspirational Becca Anderson, 28, from Westcliffe Way, who overcame the odds to beat leukemia nine years ago is raising money for the charity that saved her life

Becca Anderson will run the Great North Run this year, in aid of the Anthony Nolan Trust, the blood cancer charity which helped her get a life-saving bone marrow transplant.

The trust matches individuals who are willing to donate their blood stem cells or bone marrow, with people in need of life-saving transplants. Just as Becca was nine years ago.

In May 2010, at just 18 years-old, Becca was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Her only chances of survival were three rounds of intense chemotherapy followed by a bone marrow transplant.

None of her family were a match, but after three months of searching, the Anthony Nolan Trust was able to find her a donor, and on December 3, 2010, she received her transplant. Becca was given the all clear from cancer six months later.

“It’s a slow process, it takes about a year to fully recover, but you are constantly living in fear,” said Becca who was nominated for Role Model of the Year in the Pride of South Tyneside Awards 2011.

“You have got to build up your immune system from nothing. It’s only been in the last two or three years I have thought, ‘I can start living a life and taking advantage of these years I’ve been given’.”

Now she is celebrating nine years of being cancer-free, by showing her appreciation for the charity that saved her life, and offering her support for those still waiting for a match.

She is aiming to raise £1 for each day of her life she has got back following her transplant, bringing the total amount to £3,201 by the day of the half marathon on September 8, 2019.

(06/28/2019) Views: 1,738 ⚡AMP
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Great North Run

Great North Run

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...

more...
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Mo Farah wins the Great North Run half marathon beating Jake Robertson by 31 seconds

Mo Farah won for the fifth time the Great North Run Half marathon in a course record of 59 minutes and 26 seconds on Sunday in Newcastle, UK.   New Zealand's Jake Robertson was 31 seconds back in second. London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot from Kenya won the women's race for a second time in three years.  Farah narrowly missed out on his half marathon personal best, finishing four seconds outside it after fading inside the final 200m, having pulled clear of Robertson with about two miles to go. Robertson, who finished a close second to Farah last year, clocked 59:57, with Belgium's Bashir Abdi third in 60:43. "Training's different now as I'm not in the track season, I've been doing a lot more long runs and in terms of endurance I'm definitely fitter," said four-time Olympic champion Farah. "Just coming into that headwind it was so tough, I wasn't going smooth, I was going up and down. I honestly thought I could beat my personal best today, but those last two miles really hurt." Olympic and world champion Cheruiyot posted a personal best of 67:43 to win the women's race ahead of compatriots Brigid Kosgei (67:52) and Joyciline Jepkosgei (68.10).   (09/09/2018) Views: 1,792 ⚡AMP
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Commonwealth marathon champion Mike Shelley will make his debut at the Great north Run

Commonwealth marathon champion Mike Shelley will make his debut at the world’s biggest half marathon on Sunday, while British interest will come in the shape of Great Britain’s Olympian Andy Vernon and Jonny Mellor. Daniel Wanjiru, who won the London Marathon in 2017, will take on Farah and Robertson on Tyneside, while 2012 New York Marathon winner Stanley Biwott has also been added to the field. Just as Farah aims to strengthen his hold over the competition, Vivian Cheruiyot is pursuing her second victory at the race in three years. Joyciline Jepkosgei, the world record holder over the half marathon distance, is, on paper, her main rival, although Betsy Saina, fifth in last year’s race, could pose a challenge. Lily Partridge, Gemma Steel, Charlotte Purdue and Aly Dixon are also in the line-up. (09/06/2018) Views: 1,712 ⚡AMP
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Joyciline Jepkosgei and Vivian Cheruiyot set for battle at the Great North Run Sunday

Joyciline Jepkosgei and Vivian Cheruiyot lead the entries as Britain’s best Lily Partridge, Gemma Steel, Charlotte Purdue and Aly Dixon battle. The world’s fastest ever woman over the half marathon will be looking to spoil Vivian Cheruiyot’s plans to make it two Simplyhealth Great North Run wins in three years on Sunday September 9. Joyciline Jepkosgei, the world record holder over the half marathon, has been added to the field for one of the world’s biggest half marathon this weekend and will be the main competition for Olympic champion Cheruiyot in the iconic race. Kenyan Jepkosgei clocked her record time of 64:51 in the Prague Half Marathon last year where she also broke the world 10km, 15km and 20km records. She went on to beat her own 10km world record time back in Prague three months later when she clocked 29.43 to become the first woman to ever break 30 minutes over 10km. Betsy Saina, who finished fifth in last year’s race which was won by Mary Keitany, will also be in contention, with British hopes lying with Lily Partridge, Gemma Steel, Charlotte Purdue and Sunderland athlete Aly Dixon. (09/05/2018) Views: 1,672 ⚡AMP
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Former New York Marathon champion Stanley Biwott has recovered from a leg injury and will be on the front line at the Great North Run

The 32-year-old Kenyan distance runner was forced to pull out with a leg injury at the London marathon in April. The injury to his left leg forced him to stop training for three weeks. The Great North Run will be held on Sunday. "I have since recovered and I am focused on testing how fast my knees can hold up against a strong challenge from Mo Farah and others," he said on Tuesday in Nairobi. The 32-year-old has been struggling with injuries for the past two years, missing last year's London Marathon with hamstring problems and the Rio Olympic marathon race. He was also unable to defend his title at the 2016 New York Marathon, stepping off the course during race with a calf injury. Newcastle will be his first major race this season as he plans to return to full marathon action in Chicago in October. There he will be up against compatriot Abel Kirui, who was second last year, as well as Geoffrey Kirui, the world marathon champion. At the same time, organizers of the Great North Run have also announced the inclusion of former London marathon champion Daniel Wanjiru to the elite list heading to Newcastle. (09/04/2018) Views: 2,216 ⚡AMP
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Jake Robertson and Mo Farah are ready to battle at Great North Run, the duo will go head-to-head once again

The duo will go head-to-head once again on Tyneside ahead of Autumn marathons. Jake Robertson and Mo Farah will renew their rivalry at the Great North Run on Sunday, September 9. In last year’s race, the New Zealander led Great Britain’s Farah into the final 400m before the four-time Olympic champion out sprinted his challenger with a trademark kick to take the win in 60:06, six seconds clear. Robertson also memorably proposed to his girlfriend Magdalyne Masai at the end of the half marathon. Farah, who previously announced his return to Tyneside, is bidding to become the first runner to win five consecutive titles. Since last year’s race, Robertson has taken the roads by storm winning the renowned Houston Half Marathon in a personal best equaling time of 60:01, before he made his marathon debut in Japan, where he broke the New Zealand record clocking 2:08:26. The duo will hope for impressive outings at the Great North Run before taking on Autumn marathons. Farah heads to Chicago where he will face defending champion Galen Rupp amongst others, and Robertson races for the second time over 26.2 miles in Toronto. (08/31/2018) Views: 1,752 ⚡AMP
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The Great North Run, will honor five women who played a part inspiring an unstoppable wave of female runners

These are the famous five females who will be officially setting off runners in the Great North Run. This year marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, the event will honor female pioneers of the sport, recognizing the five extraordinary women who have played their part in inspiring an unstoppable wave of female runners around the world. The five are Kathrine Switzer, Rosa Mota, Ingrid Kristiansen, Paula Radcliffe and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson. When the Great North Run was first staged in 1981, around 1300 women took part and although a triumph of its time, these women made up only 11% of the total field. A lot has changed in the last 37 years, and now 48% of the 57,000 expected runners will be female. The official starters of the 2018 Great North Run have overcome challenges and achieved the impossible throughout their careers to leave their mark in the running world, creating change that has ultimately led to an explosion of women’s participation in running.  (08/28/2018) Views: 1,613 ⚡AMP
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Olympic and World champion Vivian Cheruiyot will return to the Great North Run looking for another victory

The four-time Olympic and five-time World Championship medallist won the world’s biggest half marathon on her debut over the distance in 2016, and finished second to winner Mary Keitany last year. She said: “I am looking forward to returning to England for the Simplyhealth Great North Run. “It was a magnificent race when I won here for the first time in 2016 and I want to be on top of that podium again next month.” (08/20/2018) Views: 1,636 ⚡AMP
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Mo Farah aiming for high five win at Simplyhealth Great North Run

Mo Farah will look to become the first runner ever to win a fifth consecutive Simplyhealth Great North Run next month. The four-time Olympic gold medallist and six-time world track champion, who has competed in every Simplyhealth Great North Run staged since 2013, will defend his title over the world-famous half marathon between Newcastle and South Shields on Sunday, September 9. He finished second on his debut outing but has won on every occasion since and last year’s fourth win equalled Benson Masya’s record, with the Kenyan winning over the 13.1mile distance in 1991, 1992, 1994 and 1996. While Paralympic great Tanni Grey-Thompson has won the wheelchair event five times in a row, no runner has ever matched that feat. “I can’t wait to come back to Newcastle and race again,” said Farah, who is preparing to run the Chicago marathon in October. “It’s something I look forward to every year, the crowds are always unbelievable and it’s a good course for racing. “To be the best in the world you have to beat the best and it’s going to be no different here. I’m looking forward to the challenge.” (08/20/2018) Views: 1,618 ⚡AMP
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Chris Blastland Survived a Brain Tumor and is running the Great North Run to bring more attention to the disease

Chris Blastland, survived a brain tumor, is running the Great North Run, helping to fund research into the disease.  41-year-old Chris, from Tonbridge, Kent (UK) is running to raise money for the Brain Tumor Research charity. As a teenager, Chris underwent surgery to remove a low-grade tumor. He is motivated by the fact that brain tumors kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.  Chris is also running in memory of his wife’s uncle, Mark Duffy. Despite having chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery, Mark died just 11 months after diagnosis with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – a highly aggressive type of tumor.   Chris, a sales director, said: “Though I am looking forward to the Great North Run, completing the event will be emotional.” “Losing Mark to a brain tumor was heart-breaking and it shocks me, even now, how quickly it all happened. What happened to Mark also opened my eyes to how prevalent the disease is and I want to somehow help change this. I count myself as one of the lucky ones to have survived this disease but I know more needs to be done to prevent others going through what happened to Mark.” (08/11/2018) Views: 1,755 ⚡AMP
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James Fleming, who was hit by a bus and survived, is going to run the Great North Run

James Fleming was hit by a bus and survived.  He is now set to tackle his second Great North Run in aid of a lifeline charity. James,20, suffered severe head injuries in the accident in 2009 and despite doctors predicting he would never walk or talk again, he has made an incredible recovery and is lacing up his shoes for UK’s biggest half marathon. He will be attempting to beat his previous record time of 1hr 48mins and aims to raise £500 for The Sick Children’s Trust. The charity, which supports families with seriously ill children. James’ parents, Tracy and Ken were supported at Crawford House in Newcastle when he was rushed to the specialist Royal Victoria Infirmary following the horrific accident. Despite a grim prognosis, with the help of intense physiotherapy and speech therapy, James has overcome the challenges set against him and leads a mostly independent life. He is now a qualified lifeguard, fitness instructor and is an employee at Curry’s PC world. James, who ran the Great North Run for the first time in 2016, says, “I feel more confident this time round and I’m aiming to complete the race in 1h 35 mins." (08/01/2018) Views: 1,638 ⚡AMP
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As Jake Robertson was racing Mo Farah he had a random thought, today is the day!

New Zealand runner Jake Robertson won the hearts of the crowd and his Kenyan girlfriend when he proposed to her after finishing second to Olympic hero Mo Farah in a major race in Britain last September.

Robertson pushed Farah all the way in the Great North Race in northern England, finishing the half marathon just six seconds behind the British great.

But he quickly had all the attention when he dropped to one knee and asked partner Magdalyne Masai to marry him. She had finished fourth in the women's elite race. Masai accepted and the happy couple embraced.

"I didn't have it planned or anything. In the last mile it just randomly came to my mind that today was the day," Robertson said.

"I finished the race and asked the meeting organisers to find her. She said yes and I'm a happy man. Six years together and I thought it was due time. We've been speaking about it for a long time," he said.

(03/22/2018) Views: 2,508 ⚡AMP
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Great North Run legend Jim Purcel has passed away at aged 96

Great North Run legend and popular charity fundraiser "Jarra Jim" has died at the age of 96. The Second World War veteran took up running at the age of 65 following the death of his wife Betty, and completed numerous races including 29 Great North Runs and 12 London Marathons. He raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for local charities through his selfless exploits. The charity runner was rewarded for his selfless exploits by carrying the Olympic flame through Wallsend in 2012 ahead of the London Games. (02/10/2018) Views: 1,575 ⚡AMP
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Great Tees 10K Added To Great North Run Weekend

In a move that will further expand the Great North Run weekend, organisers have confirmed the addition of a Great Tees 10K. Scheduled for Saturday 8 September, the 10k looks like it will be a cracker and has been designed to hug the banks of the Tees and will take in iconic landmarks such as the Infinity Bridge and Newport Bridge. The event will be joined by the Great North City Games Elite Mile race, which is relocating from Gateshead for the first time. (01/26/2018) Views: 1,656 ⚡AMP
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Great North Run is the World’s Largest Half Marathon

In 2017, 239,069 runners took part in The Great Run 46 running events from Portsmouth to Aberdeen and in between in the UK. “Combined, our runners covered a massive 2,443,615 miles. That’s more than 98 times around the world.” The 2017 Simplyhealth Great North Run saw the largest amount of finishers in its 37-year history, with 43,127 crossing the finish line of the world’s biggest half marathon. (12/31/2017) Views: 1,591 ⚡AMP
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