How Great North Run day unfolded as iconic half marathon celebrated 40th staging in 2021

The world’s biggest half marathon returned to the North East on Sunday, September 12 and we were there to bring you all of the action, reaction and photographs from the milestone day.

This year’s Great North Run was the 40th staging of the event – an occasion which was originally due to be celebrated last September. The 2020 race – along with countless other charity events – had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But the half marathon returned for 2021 on an amended route, and with other Covid safety controls in place – including staggered start times.

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For the first time, the Great North Run finish line was not in South Shields. Instead, the route took a loop back to Newcastle to end at the city’s Great North Road.

An iconic view as the runners cross the Tyne Bridge.

Scroll down for our team’s updates on Sunday’s event and see if you can spot any familiar faces in our pictures.

Great North Run 2021: How race day unfolded as iconic half marathon returned

Key Events

  • This year’s staging of the Great North Run celebrates the event’s 40th birthday
  • New route and Covid controls in place for 2021 - race started and ended in Newcastle
  • Thousands of runners and spectators in the streets to play their part
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So, what’s new at this year’s Great North Run?

*Runners have been allocated an arrival time and start time, to stagger and manage the amount of people on the route.

*The finish line - for this year only - is on the Great North Road in Newcastle. The race will return to South Shields in 2022.

*There will be no group warm up - but plenty of places for participants to do their own stretches and get ready.

Wishing all of this year’s runners good luck!

Great North Run: Sunday will be a 'huge blow', but we look forward to welcoming run back, says South Tyneside Council leader

The top woman at South Tyneside Council has said admitted Sunday without the Great North Run finish will be a ‘significant blow’ for South Tyneside – but she was looking forward to the run returning in 2022.

Quiet scenes in South Shields on GNR morning

See you at the start line!

37 pictures from the junior Great North Run

These impressive youngsters were among the thousands due to take part in the Junior and Mini Great North Run events on Saturday. Check out some photographs from the runs here.

Travel reminder for runners and spectators!

Our reporters Ryan and Tony, along with photographers Ian and Kevin, will be out and about on the GNR route today taking your picture and hearing your stories. We’ll also be out in South Shields on what should be a huge day for the town and wider borough, as thousands of runners and spectators descend on Gypsies Green for the half marathon’s finish line.

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