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Mo Farah gets ready for the Great North Run

Mo Farah ahead of the start of today's Great North Run Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Mo Farah has set his sights on winning this year's elite event at the Great North Run.

He joins top athletes from all over the world, setting off before the main event in which the millionth runner to take part in the Great North Run will cross the finish line.

PICTURES: The Great North 5km

The Great North 5km started a weekend of athletes across Tyneside.

Top athletes James Cracknell and Stephen Kiprotich started the race around the Newcastle Gateshead Quayside at just after 9am this morning.

Top athletes James Cracknell and Stephen Kiprotich start the Bupa Great North 5k run on Newcastle Quayside today. Credit: North News
The Great North 5km. Credit: North News

Winners Elizabeth Hodgkinson and Marc Fenwick received their trophies at the end of the race.

Elizabeth Hodgkinson and Marc Fenwick, winners of the womens and mens Bupa Great North 5k run on Newcastle Quayside today Credit: North News

The 5km race was followed by theGreat North Mini Run with more than 6,000 children taking part.

Elite athletes from all over the world later competed around the Quayside in the City Games.

Thousands of children race in Great North Mini Run

Thousands of under-16s competed in the Great North Mini Run. Credit: North News

Around 6,500 children have competed in the Great North Mini Run, the UK's biggest children's running event.

Youngsters aged 3-16 completed the course around the Newcastle Gateshead Quayside.

Postman Pat fired the starting gun, and athletes running in tomorrow's Great North Run were at the start line inspiring the next generation.

Many of the youngsters raced in fancy dress. Credit: North News
The Great North 5km was held on the Quayside this morning. Credit: North News

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Great North Run Road Closures: Saturday and Sunday

To enable the safe running of the race the following road closures will be put in place over the weekend.

Below are the details of all road closures:

SATURDAY 6TH SEPTEMBER

  • 17:00 until 07/09/12 17:00 - A167 From Cowgate Roundabout to Great North Road Junction(B1318)

SUNDAY 7TH SEPTEMBER

  • 08:45-17:00 - A167(M) Central Motorway including Tyne Bridge + B1318 Great North Road to A184 Park Lane
  • 09:00-17:00 - A184 Felling By-Pass to Whitemare Pool Roundabout and A194 Leam Lane
  • 09:45-16:00 - A194 Leam Lane from Whitemare Pool to A1300 John Reid Road Roundabout
  • 09:45-16:00 - A1300 Prince Edward Road Roundabout to A183 Redwell Lane/Coast Road A183 Roundabout
  • 09:00-17:00 - A183 Redwell Lane/Coast Road Roundabout to Roundabout with Sea Road and Mowbray Road
  • 02:45-17:00 - Bents Park Road in South ShieldsDiversion routes will be fully signposted, but some disruption is inevitable.

Drivers are advised to take alternative routes wherever possible.

The Tyne Bridge and the Gateshead Highway are expected to re-open by 14:00hrs providing links to routes via the A184 Askew Road and Consett Route to the A1 and South via the A167 to Low Fell and Eighton Lodge.

A North-South route from Sunderland Road (B1426) to Shields Road (A195) across Heworth Roundabout will be opened as soon as the last runners have cleared the Junction.

Before 17:00hrs, the remainder of the A184 route between Gateshead and the White Mare Pool (A194/A194(M)) Interchange will re-open, once the route has been cleaned and all event infrastructure has been removed.

Great North Run: Top tips for the day

  • Check the weather forecast to help you decide what clothes you will need.
  • Apply Vaseline to any areas where you have had chafing during training, such as under your arms, bra band, toes or groin.
  • You might want to bring some old clothes that you can start the run in and throw away once you have warmed up.
  • Do NOT wear new trainers for the first time on the day - it is a good idea to run in them for at least a month before the event.
  • Make sure you have something to eat and drink to keep you going on the journey home after the run.
  • The first few miles can be very crowded. Many people tire themselves out by dodging in and out of runners because they are behind on run plans. Try to maintain a slow, even pace and enjoy the event.
  • Wear water-resistant sun cream - just be careful not to put on too much otherwise when you sweat, the sun cream may run into your eyes.
  • Remember to bring your own safety pins if your event requires you to wear a run number.

Tony 'The Fridge' to run the GNR route for 24 hours

Tony 'The Fridge' Morrison Credit: Jeff Moore

Geordie fundraiser Tony 'The Fridge' Morrison is well known for attempting the impossible.

The 50-year-old grandfather from Hebburn has even been nominated for Endurance Fundraiser of the Year for his daring attempts.

But now, Tony is trying something extra special in honour of this year's Great North Run.

At 6am on Saturday, 6th September, he will set off from the start line of the Great North Run carrying a 42kg Smeg fridge on his back and attempt to run the exact route over and over again non-stop for at least 24 hours, after which, he will join the 57,000 runners of the Great North Run and run it one more time.

On his JustGiving page, Tony spoke of the reasons behind his latest challenge:

My aim is to give hope to people who are fighting or are affected by cancer, by running seemingly impossible distances carrying a 42kg Smeg Fridge on my back. The fridge symbolises the huge burden we all feel if a loved one is struck down by this awful disease.

Pain is always a result of my challenges but I believe passionately in what I do and why I do it.

I have faith that although the journey seems impossible, we will beat cancer.

I am so very proud and honoured to be attempting what is the toughest feat of endurance I have ever undertaken, in aid of Cancer Research UK.

A Mapyx GPS Live Tracker will track my entire journey, and my hope is people will log on to the event live and help inspire me to the finish, all the time donating and making it worth the while.

– Tony 'The Fridge' Morrison
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