Mo Farah, Greg Rutherford, Nicola Adams, Kat Copeland and Ellie Simmonds

Athletes back GNR runners

Olympic and Paralympic heroes have spoken to ITV Tyne Tees about the BUPA Great North Run and how they admire those taking part.

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Tyneside to be lit up by man-made lightning strikes

More details have been released about the Great North Run Million Opening Ceremony, due to take place on September 4th.

Organisers Nova International say the event on the Newcastle-Gateshead Quayside will include fireworks and man-made lightning strikes.

Colourful illuminations.
Man-made lightening will illuminate the night sky. Credit: Great North Run

The fireworks will be provided by pyrotechnic wizards, Alchemy, who have lit up the skies above some of the UK’s most iconic venues, including Tower Bridge for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

They will create a large-scale fire sculpture, close proximity pyrotechnics and aerial fireworks in a variety of locations on the river, bridges, and the Quaysides.

Lightening bolts to amaze crowds.
Alchemy, the pyrotechnics people, will put on the display. Credit: Great North Run

A group called Lords of Lightening will also make an appearance.

Described as one of the most unique and fascinating shows on the planet, this show was created by New Zealand born Carlos Van Camp.

The crackle of Lightning Bolts will crash into the Tyne from two towers as two people, dressed in metal suits, interact with the power of lightning.

Streak of man-made lightening.
Lord of Lightening will entertain crowds. Credit: Great North Run

Harnessing 4 million volts of electricity, this performance has seared itself into the memory of audiences

worldwide and is set to dazzle and amaze the audience at this year's Great North Run Million Opening Ceremony.

This is part of
4 million volts of electricity will be harnessed. Credit: Great North Run

Described by organisers as the biggest party in the North East, the Great North Run opening ceremony will also feature live performances from local hero and Dire Straits legend Mark Knopfler, plus multi-platinum selling dance duo, Chase & Status.

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Great North Run advice from personal trainers

It's just around the corner, the nerves are kicking in - it's time to ask the experts!

Ahead of the Great North Run on September 7th 2014, we ask personal trainers what you should be doing to prepare for the half marathon.

Rachael Jackson is a personal trainer from County Durham
Rachael Jackson is a personal trainer from County Durham

"Find yourself a training buddy as it is the competitive element which spurs you on - especially on the days when you're not feeling it. Keep it simple and eat clean - you can't go wrong with fresh, whole foods. But do remember to treat yourself once every couple weeks as it'll keep you sane!"

– Rachael Jackson
Graham Irving is a personal trainer specialising in boot camps
Graham Irving is a personal trainer specialising in boot camps

"Keep to your routine, nutrition, clothing and footwear - don't shock your body into change before the big day."

– Graham Irving

GNR excitement as the Tyne Bridge logo goes up

1981 medal
1981 medal Credit: ITV

Ray Scott showed photographers his first Great North Run Medal from 1981 - he had run all of them.

Meanwhile, Beth Bate from the One Millionth Runner Celebrations team has been speaking to the press about what people can expect from the ceremony.

Beth Bate with the press
Credit: ITV
This year the one millionth runner will cross the finish line
This year the one millionth runner will cross the finish line Credit: ITV

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1500 performers wanted for Great North Run opening

Organisers of the Great North Run are recruiting for 1500 volunteers to perform at a special opening ceremony on the Newcastle and Gateshead quayside, three days before the race.

In 2014, the millionth runner to finish the run since it began in 1981 will cross the line. To celebrate, the opening ceremony will include music, dance, film projections onto the Sage Gateshead, a giant floating sculpture and pyrotechnics, to tell the history of the North East.

Great North Run
The One Millionth Ceremony will be three days before the Great North Run Credit: PA Wire

Organisers want 1500 performers to form a circle around the Quayside, performing at key moments during the show. No experience is required.

Volunteers - who must be aged 16 or older on 8th August - will be required to attend two weekend rehearsals in August, and be available from 2pm into the evening on Thursday 4th September.

The deadline for applications is 18th July. See the Great North Run website for details.

'Local Hero' Mark Knopfler to perform by the Tyne

Ex-Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler Credit: Bupa Great North Run

Geordie rock legend Mark Knopfler will perform at the Great North Run Million Opening Ceremony on Thursday 4 September. Organisers say a spectacular opening ceremony this year will herald the race which will see a millionth person complete the course.

This is believed to be a world first, and the milestone will be celebrated with an opening event which will feature live music, film and a dance performance, as well as star appearances, all held on the Newcastle-Gateshead Quayside.

Organisers say it will transform the River Tyne into an outdoor arena ahead of the Great North Run three days later.Mark Knopfler said: “I’m proud to have been a supporter of this great event from the beginning and am looking forward to being there to play ‘Local Hero’ "

Mark Knopfler is best known as the lead guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter for the global rock legends Dire Straits, who have sold over 120 million albums to date, and he was ranked number 27 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

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