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Great North Run

Great North Run

The Great North Run 2017 is the world’s biggest half marathon, with thousands of runners and millions of spectators taking part this 10th September.

It kicks off in Newcastle upon Tyne, following the familiar 13.1 mile course through the city and out towards the coast at South Shields. It’s a huge event, with thousands of supporters lining the streets of the city, bands providing music along the route, and even a fly-past by the Red Arrows as runners cross the Tyne Bridge.

More than 50,000 people take part in the race, coming from all over the country with their friends, family and supporters in tow.  

When does it start?

If you’re taking part you’ll be very much aware of this already, but for those of us exhausting our energy cheering from the side-lines, or holding down the sofa at home, the race begins at around 10:40.

Runners will need to be in their starting positions by 10:30, or risk having to tag on behind. For TV viewers, coverage will be broadcast live on BBC One from 9:30.

Who will be there?

As ever it’s a good opportunity for some celebrity-spotting, both for famous athletes and celebs raising money and awareness for charities. Sir Mo Farah will be taking part, hoping to come out at the front of the front-runners and bag himself another victory. Also in the crowd jogging by will be presenter Sophie Raworth, Davina McCall, and ex-footballer Michael Gray.

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Tips for spectators

If you’re going to cheer on the runners on the day, make sure you plan where you’re going to park in advance. There are multi-storeys and car parks throughout the city centre, but naturally, these fill up pretty quick. A good idea is to park outside of town near public transport links and travel into town that way.

You should also pick out your spectating spot in plenty of time. The route starts by Exhibition Park and passes over the Tyne Bridge before going through Gateshead towards South Shields. There’s a great atmosphere at the starting line, but the Tyne Bridge is one of the most sought-after spots, providing great views of the Red Arrows fly-past.

You could also attempt to follow the runners by catching a metro to Gateshead Stadium or Heworth, or head straight to South Shields to see the finish line though you will be battling the crowds, so be prepared for some jostling and close-up views of armpits on the metro.  

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Did we miss anything? Let us know by sharing your tips!

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Always looking to join the dots and get to the heart of things, whether that’s the latest celeb scandal or a really tough crossword