Millions raised for charity as 43,000 people take part in Great North Run

Thousands of runners pounded the streets of Tyneside today as they headed to the Great North Run's finish line in South Shields.

Sunday, 9th September 2018, 6:18 pm
Updated Sunday, 9th September 2018, 7:36 pm
Great North Run 2018.

In the region of 43,000 people attempted this year's gruelling 13.1-mile half-marathon from Newcastle to the South Tyneside coastline.

Starting the day's events was the wheelchair racers, with David Weir claiming his seventh victory with a time of 41 minutes and 19 seconds, while Poland's Martyna Snopek took the women’s wheelchair title.

Great North Run 2018.

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In the men’s elite race, Sir Mo Farah won a record fifth Great North Run with a course record of 59 minutes and 26 seconds, while Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot was the fastest woman with a time of 67 minutes and 43 seconds.

However, for most the day is about the fun runners who raise much-needed funds for worthy causes across the UK.

Thousands of spectators lined the course of the run, handing out much-needed refreshments and treats to those passing by.

Deborah Roberts, co-founder of South Shields-based Cancer Connections was manning a tent for her charity's 40 runners, with the help of Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall and Paralympic gold medalist Josef Craig, who are both patrons.

Just two of the runners who completed the Great North Run 2018 in fancy dress.

She said: "Our marvellous runners will probably generate in the region of £12,000-15,000, which is incredible.

"Everyone running does it for their own personal reasons and we are always humbled by the support they receive."

Singer Jade said: "Everyone should be so proud, they are doing this for such a great cause.”

John Nejady, 34, from South Shields, a video games producer, was raising cash for the People's Kitchen - a Newcastle-based food charity.

No parking here at the Great North Run 2018.

He said: "I'm pretty pleased with my time of 1hr 48mins. This is the fifth time I've done the run, and it just keeps getting better.

"I've raised about £180 for my charity, as the work it does, feeding those who are less fortunate, is essential.”

Toni Rayner, 30, an office manager, was raising funds for South Shields-based Charlie Cookson Foundation, which helps families who have children with life-limiting conditions.

Toni, from Gateshead, is friends with the charity's founders, Chris and Sarah Cookson from Simonside, South Shields.

Daniel Whitelaw did the Great North Run in aid of the Glen Corner Trust.

She said: "With being friends of Chris and Sarah I know how important the work the foundation does is, so I wanted to help.

"I've raised about £300, and my fellow runners will probably take the total up to about £750,"

Daniel Whitelaw, 28, from Harton Nook, South Shields, had secured sponsorships of £450 for the Glen Corner Trust - in memory of local lad who was killed on his 16th birthday in 2006.

The charity aims to help families who have been affected by knife crime.

Daniel, an engineer for Rolls Royce, said: "I was friends with Glen and I've done a few things over the years to raise money for the Trust, but this was my first ever run.

"It was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I spotted my nana though as I was running - that was good."

Toni Rayner did the Great North Run 2018 for the Charlie Cookson Foundation.

But for some the run was a good way to keep healthy competition going between husband and wife.

Stuart Guthrie, 32, from Monkton Village, a salesman for a medical company, was furious when he realised wife Karen beat him.

The father-of-two said: "I've finished with a time of 2hrs 10 mins, but I know my wife has beat me. She’ll never let me hear the end of it.

"This is the fifth time I've done it and unfortunately my slowest-ever run. But it's still been a fantastic day."

Great North Run 2018. Stuart Guthria
John Nejady after finishing the Great North Run 2018.
The Cancer Connections team who completed the Great North Run with the charity's patrons Josef Craig and Jade Thirlwall.