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.

By Debra Fox
Sunday, 12th September 2021, 5:25 pm

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.

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.

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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

Last updated: Sunday, 12 September, 2021, 09:48

  • 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

The route to the start line ...

Runners make their way to the start line in Newcastle.

Our man on the ground

Who are you running for? ❤️

The Great North Run supports so many incredible causes every year, with runners choosing a charity close to their hearts. Ahead of today’s race, we asked you to share a story about YOUR run, and the cause that was so important to you.

This is what you had to say - click here to read more.

The things you spot on GNR day ... 🐷

Shout out to Percy and Penny, making their way to the start line! Trotters and all 🐽

Keith is on hang to help if you need it on the Metro

Author and radio newsreader Chris Smith arrives at the run!

The elite women begin the race

Here comes the first wave!

This year’s Great North Run will see runners start the race in waves to allow for more space on the course. Each group has been given an arrival time and start time. And here comes the first lot ...

Have you spotted the Big Pink Dress?

Fundraiser Colin Burgin-Plews is at the start line - have you spotted him? Click here to find out more about his outfit for this year’s race and make sure you keep an eye out for him on the route!

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