Great North Run 2022: Reflection and tributes as Great North Run brings thousands of visitors

It was an emotional day across the North East as the 41st Great North Run took place on Sunday, September 11.

The iconic half marathon is usually a cause for celebration, as tens of thousands of runners tackle the 13.1-mile route between Newcastle and South Shields – many of them fundraising for charity.

But this year’s race took on a sombre tone at its start in the wake of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II’s death.

After ruling for more than 70 years, she passed away at her Scottish estate Balmoral on Thursday, September 8 at the age of 96.

An estimated 60,000 runners were part of the 41st Great North Run on September 11 - can you spot any familiar faces? Picture: PA.

Great North Run founder Sir Brendan Foster addressed the crowds before the flag went up to signal the start of the main race on Sunday morning.

The 60,000 runners lined up in Newcastle fell silent in a remarkable show of respect to the late Queen; Britain’s longest-serving monarch.

While the weekend’s half marathon race went ahead as planned, the Great North 5k, Junior Great North Run and Mini Great North Run events scheduled for earlier in the weekend were postponed.

Speaking as the decision to continue with the Great North Run was confirmed, Sir Brendan said the event would allow people from across the region and beyond to come together and pay tribute “to the life of our great Queen”.

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Thousands of runners taking on the Great North Run between Newcastle and South Shields on Sunday, September 11. Picture: PA.

On Sunday, he added: “To fair and to be honest, I was much more emotional when it happened than I ever thought I would be because it takes you to your own family.

"It takes you to loss you’ve suffered before and she’d been a constant in our lives, and then she’s gone.

“It was a difficult time for everyone, but I think the mood is today sombre a little.”

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The Great North Run’s Elite race winners

Spectators line the Great North Run route in central Newcastle. Picture: PA.

On a race day with a difference, it was world record holder Jacob Kiplimo who crossed the line as the winner of the Elite Men’s race.

The 21-year-old became the first Ugandan man to win the Great North Run with a time of 59 minutes and 33 seconds.

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The reigning world half-marathon champion, Kiplimo was 66 seconds ahead of Olympic 10,000m champion Selemon Barega in second, with Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele third with a time of 1.01.01.

Praising the region's crowd and the atmosphere on the day, he added: “I came here to win it.”

Defending champion Hellen Obiri came first in the Elite Women’s race with a time of 1.07.05 – 37 seconds faster than her time in 2021.

She said: “It’s good for me because I won last year and I won this year on different courses.

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“It’s a great opportunity to do a faster one than last time, so I’m so happy.”

Meanwhile, Great Britain’s David Weir powered his way to a ninth Great North Run victory in the men’s wheelchair race, coming homing in 42.59, two seconds ahead of compatriot Daniel Sidbury with Nathan Maguire third in 46.40.

On Sunday, sport’s governing bodies were continuing to review their fixture schedules following the announcement that the Queen’s funeral will take place on Monday, September 19.