Great North Run route change ‘major blow’ for landmark South Shields pub the Marsden Inn, as all bookings cancelled

The landlord of a landmark Great North Run pub has been hit hard by the shock decision to change the race’s route so it no longer finishes in South Shields.

By Sophie Brownson
Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 4:55 am

For years the Marsden Inn on Marsden Lane has been a popular spot for spectators looking to cheer on their loved ones as they complete the final stretch down Redwell Lane and onto the Coast Road.

"It is an absolute major blow,” he said

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The Marsden Inn is one of the landmark pubs on the final stretch of the Great North Run.

"I have 10 rooms which have been fully booked since January 2020.

"As soon as the race finishes people book a room for three days for the following year – but now all the rooms have been cancelled.

"Two of them have said they are not going to run and are going to postpone it to next year and the rest said they would try and find accommodation in Newcastle.

"Everything that goes with it has been affected, all the extra food sales, the car parking, all extra extra staff.

Marsden Inn landord Michael Ward had been looking forward to the event but now has been left out of pocket by cancellations following the route change.

"It’s going to affect the staff the most as they are not getting the hours they were expecting.”

Michael said the change of route will have a huge financial impact on the borough itself by taking way the trade it would normally bring to local businesses.

He is also concerned the race starting and finishing in Newcastle will ‘become a permanent fixture’ in the future.

He said: "I can’t understand the difference, why can’t they still have it in South Shields?

"Newcastle doesn’t have the hotel facilities to cope with every person that is running so people are still stopping outside the area and travelling into it.

"People staying in South Shields still have to travel to Newcastle or vice versa … so the Metros will still be rammed.”

Paul Foster, chief executive of the Great Run Company, the changes had to be made to help cope with the ongoing Covid situation by preventing overcrowding on public transport.

He said moving the finish to Newcastle means runners disperse from the finish from the middle of the transport network, rather than the end.

Organisers have also reassured South Tyneside Council leader Tracey Dixon that the event will return to the borough in 2022.

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