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Plans unveiled for September's 40th Great North Run

Credit: North news and pictures

Organisers of the Great North Run have unveiled plans to celebrate the success of the race in what will be its 40th year.

The team behind the race are hoping for more finishers than ever, they want it to be more fun than ever and our region's great race is about to become a film star thanks to a documentary showcasing the history of the Great North Run.

Brendan Foster, who founded the Great North Run, says people still stop him in the street to share their stories of running the race.

The Great North Run remains the jewel in the crown of a spectacular sporting weekend, with a whole host of exciting new activities and experiences planned to celebrate the 40th staging, including a specially commissioned film charting the history of the event.

The Great North 5k will kick off this huge celebration of running in the North East, with the ever-popular Junior and Mini Great North Run transforming the NewcastleGateshead Quayside into a sea of runners.

North East children's author Terry Deary, who is from Sunderland, has run the race 21 times and this year's race will be his 22nd.

The benefits brought into the North East by the Great North Run include:

£31m
Boost to the regional economy in 2019
£18m
Raised for charity each year
40
The number of Great North Runs since the event launched in 1981
The 40th Great North Run - GNR40 - will be a celebration of this landmark staging and the people and places that have made the event great Credit: North news and pictures

Organisers say the following will be new for the 2020 edition of the Great North Run:

  • Even bigger children's running events
  • A Friday night Great North 5k
  • A film celebrating the history of the Great North Run

When we started off it was one of a kind, two of a kind, there was us and the London marathon. Since then there has been thousands of events all around the country but more importantly around the world.

The future of the Great North Run is all about maintaining its status and its position as one of the great events in the world in terms of mass participation sport."

– Brendan Foster, Great North Run founder

First staged in 1981 with an unprecedented 12,000 runners, the iconic half marathon has grown to accept a huge 57,000 entries and is embedded in the fabric of the region, with over 200,000 supporters estimated to line the route from the centre of Newcastle to South Shields.

The 40th Great North Run - GNR40 - will be a celebration of this landmark staging and the people and places that have made the event great.