Cited as the world’s most popular half marathon, the Bupa Great North Run enters its 34 year on Sunday September 7th. With over 56,000 participants in last year’s event the race, continuing to grow in popularity, stands as the top occasion of the Great Run’s annual programme.
The 13.1 mile course starts in the centre of Newcastle, making its way across the city’s Tyne Bridge and on to Gateshead. Once here, the route passes by the iconic international athletics stadium before making its final stretch towards the coast and the town of South Shields. Along the course will stand 15 designated stage points where Bupa Great Run “Bands on the Run” will be performing throughout the day, entertaining the cheering crowds and spurring on participants.
Taking place on the Sunday, the Great North Run is just one of a group of events to be held over the course of the weekend. The Great North 5K takes place on Saturday 6th, a scenic route starting at Newcastle’s Quayside and passing by the Guildhall on its way to Gateshead. Taking its route along the river, the course makes its way back into Newcastle centre via the Gateshead Millennium Bridge. Also on the Saturday are the Bupa Mini and Junior runs, at 1.5K and 4K respectively. The mini course is designed for children aged 3 – 8 whilst the junior run is aimed at the 9 – 16 year age bracket.
Completing the programme for an action packed sporting weekend, the Great North CityGames will take place from 1pm on Saturday 6th September. A series of live track events held on a purpose built course along the River Tyne, the day features the disciplines of long jump, hurdles, pole vault and a series of races. With over 25,000 spectators in 2013, top names in the sporting world will be returning this year to compete in the games. And as a completely free to watch event, the CityGames, in combination with the Great North Run, offer the complete sporting weekend.
There are over 70 charities associated with the Great North Run. These include well known organisations such as British Heart Foundation, NSPCC, Oxfam, Mind and Cancer Research UK as well as a host of smaller charities. By registering for a charity place and joining a team of other runners you can make your Great North Run experience even more worthwhile by raising money for a good cause. Charity places for the race can be registered through the Bupa Great Run website.