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|Great North Run|
|Location||Newcastle upon Tyne to South Shields, England, UK|
|Course records||58:56 (Martin Mathathi, 2011)
1:05:39 (Mary Keitany, 2014)
The Great North Run - or the Simplyhealth Great North Run for sponsorship purposes - is the largest half marathon in the world, taking place annually in North East England each September. Participants run between Newcastle upon Tyne and South Shields. The run was devised by former Olympic 10,000 m bronze medallist and BBC Sport commentator Brendan Foster.
The first Great North Run was staged on 28 June 1981, when 12,000 runners participated. By 2011, the number of participants had risen to 54,000. For the first year it was advertised as a local fun run; nearly thirty years on it has become one of the biggest running events in the world, and the biggest in the UK. Only the Great Manchester Run and London Marathon come close to attracting similar numbers of athletes each year.
The 1992 edition of the race incorporated the 1st IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. Martin Mathathi holds the current men's course record with his run of 58:56 minutes in 2011. Mary Jepkosgei Keitany's women's course record of 65:39 minutes, was set in 2014. In 2016, Mo Farah became the first person to win the event three times consecutively.
The Great North Run starts in Newcastle upon Tyne on the A167 road, on the edge of both the city centre and the Town Moor. The route heads east and south down the motorway section, around the eastern side of the city centre, then crosses the Tyne Bridge into Gateshead. It heads around the eastern side of Gateshead town centre, then at a roundabout turns east and heads down the A184 in the direction of Sunderland. After 3.5 miles, the route turns off the A184 and heads north-east towards South Shields. 2.5 miles later, the route reaches the southern side of Jarrow and it turns east down the A1300. The route passes through the south of South Shields (through Harton and Marsden) until it reaches the seafront just over 3.5 miles later, where it turns north up the A183. The last mile of the route runs along the seafront road to the finishing line at South Shields.
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