Sir Mo Farah kicks off Great North Run weekend by starting Friday night Quayside 5k

The Olympic hero make a surprise appearance on the Quayside to kick off the Great North Run weekend.

Mo Farah kicked off the 2023 Great North Run weekend in style on Friday evening after being announced as the surprise starter for the Great Run 5k, the first public race of the three days of running.

Friday, September 8 saw the opening events of the 42nd Great North Run weekend with Road Race Championships getting the Quayside crowds pumped up ahead of the main event.

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The night kicked off with the UK One Mile and 5k Road Championships with some of the top raod runners in the UK showing off their skills and fighting for a place in the British team for the World Athletics Road Running Championships in Latvia later this year.

Once the elites finished their races it was the turn of the general public with Sir Mo Farah taking to the starters platform to kick off a weekend of running for many amateur athletes.

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This year’s Great North Run will be Sir Mo Farah’s final race as a professional athlete and the North East has pulled out all the stops to make it a huge occasion for the four time Olympic champion.

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The Bamburgh pub in South Shields has already changed its name for the weekend to honour the runner and a Metro station has also seen a revamp.

The 5k was the first public race of the weekend with the Junior and Mini Great North Runs taking place throughout Saturday, September 9 before the huge half marathon takes over Newcastle, Gateshead and South Shields on Sunday.