Two runners who have been in every Great North Run since it began share their top tips for anyone taking on the race for the first time.
Double world and Olympic champion Mo Farah has been announced as the honorary starter of the Bupa Great North 5k.
Olympic and Paralympic heroes have spoken to ITV Tyne Tees about the BUPA Great North Run and how they admire those taking part.
World champion and olympic gold medallist Mo Farah is just one of a number of athletes who have started their Great North Run race.
He is taking part in the 13.1 mile course along with Kenenisa Bekele and Haile Gebreselassie.
The starting pistol has been fired for the elite men's race in the Great North Run.
Mo Farah is taking part.
With poor weather set to affect conditions at the 2013 Great North Run between Newcastle and South Shields, hoodie-clad Olympic champion Mo Farah waits to start the race.
The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for the gales in Scotland and Northern Ireland for today and the public should be aware of the potential for some minor disruption to travel, as runners are expected to take part in the annual Great North Run in Newcastle.
– Paul Gundersen, Met Office chief forecaster
A spell of gale force westerly winds is expected later Sunday, peaking on Monday across much of Scotland, the north of Northern Ireland and coasts of north west England and north Wales.
The public should be aware of the potential for some minor disruption to travel and keep up to date with the latest weather forecast information.
World Champion and Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah will face fellow distance-running greats Kenenisa Bekele and Haile Gebreselassie at the Bupa Great North Run in Newcastle today.
Farah will fire the starting pistol for the shorter 5km event, organisers said.
The Great North Run will be hit by rain and strong gusts of wind today as stormy conditions roll in across much of the UK, heralding the beginning of autumn.
As some 55,000 people set off on the half-marathon in Newcastle, winds in the area are expected to be up to 40mph, and will increase to 45mph in the afternoon.
Western areas of Scotland are expected to see the worst rain of the day, with 30-40mm falling in some places. It will also bear the brunt of the windy conditions, with Northern Ireland and Cumbria, with some tree branches expected to be brought down by the gusts.
The rest of the UK is expected to see cool, cloudy and windy conditions, with no signs of a return of any sunshine.
The Paralympic gold medallist Hazel Robson grew up watching the Great North Run. As a sprinter, she was never able to take part in the long distance event.
Last summer, the Wearside runner retired. That has given her the opportunity to fulfil her Great North Run dream.
Watch Lucy Taylor's report here:
Great North Run participants and spectators are being reminded that the Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnels are closed for refurbishment. The tunnels are traditionally used to avoid the crowds and congestion on the roads and the Metro.
A free, half-hourly shuttle bus service is running between the tunnel entrances, but it can only carry 24 passengers and 16 bikes at a time.
– Paul Fenwick, Tyne & Wear Integrated Transport Authority
“We would not like people to turn up at the tunnels and suddenly find their journey plans spoiled by the closure.
“They should either allow a lot more time for their journey or find another way of travelling between Newcastle and South Shields.”
Fifty six thousand people will be taking part in the Great North Run on Sunday.
Among them will be Becki Prout from Billingham on Teesside. For her, training has been especially tough as a seizure just seven months ago left her without any feeling in her legs. Doctors said then she might never walk again.