'It's not the Great North Run if if doesn't finish in South Shields' - community reacts to route change for 2021
The North East community has both welcomed and criticised the decision to change this year's Great North Run route in a move to give runners and spectators more space both at the race and on public transport.
The iconic half marathon, which is this year celebrating its 40th birthday, will instead start and finish in Newcastle - with organisers pledging to return the finish line to South Shields as normal in 2022.
Some welcomed the news on Thursday, July 8 saying that it was "using common sense" to keep the public safe, while others highlighted the impact the route change will have on businesses in South Tyneside.
For many traders, it is one of the biggest weekends of the year, with thousands of participants and their families descending on the borough to stay, shop and eat.
This is how you reacted on the Shields Gazette Facebook page:
Nicola Hearn: "If we can’t run the original route then they should have cancelled it like last year. It’s such a shame for our local businesses and community."
Andrew Gill: "It makes complete and perfect sense. I don't know why people are complaining. Why wouldn't you give the spectators, families and friends of the runners more room to social distance by providing the longer route.”
Sheldon Wingrove: “So South Shields is to take another hit. This is one of the biggest events this town has. It’s a joke.
Tricia Vickers: "Disgraceful, how is it safer to run in Newcastle than it is in South Shields?”
Nikki Petters: "I think they are using common sense for keeping it Newcastle this year, crowds on Metros and 70k coming into South Shields, it's only one year.”
Graham Wood: “Not the Great North Run 2021 if doesn't finish in Shields.”
Jamie Ailano: “It's just not the same. I'd have preferred them to cancel."
Monica Sutherland: "Very disappointing for South Tyneside and South Shields, especially as it is the 40th anniversary year.”
Edward Philip Hilton: “How are businesses meant to plan now for this weekend?
"Do we order stock as people will be staying in the area? But run the risk of not using it and going into the autumn/winter season?
"Or do we just plan a normal weekend and run the risk of being overrun with visitors?”