With a record 56,000 runners taking to the streets of Newcastle last Sunday, geared-up ready for the annual 13 mile half marathon, it could only mean one thing – this year’s Bupa Great North Run! As the second largest half marathon in the world, the event takes place every September between Newcastle to South Shields and this year saw thousands of brave runners eager to beat the rain and take part. All for a good cause, the sponsorship’s rolled in as 2013 was set to raise an estimated £28m for various charities – whilst both participants and crowds alike made the day a one to remember.
With the ever growing number of fun runners undertaking the challenge, their spirits weren’t damped by the conditions as the usual fancy dress was donned – as if the marathon wasn’t hard enough! With a range of superheros, Disney characters, the Tyne bridge and even Santa making an appearance, the Red Arrows were also on hand to create a spectacle as the race began.
As the starting pistol was fired – this year by England cricketer Graeme Swann and 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu – the usual celeb spotting took place with a host of familiar faces running for their own personal causes. From footballer Robbie Savage to DJ Jo Whiley, Spice Girl Mel C, Iwan Thomas and stars of the big reunion Natasha Hamilton with Richie Neville amongst more, they were all spurred on by the energy from the crowds.
The one to watch however proved to be Mo Farah, who battled to become the first UK runner in 25 years to win the men’s race. Narrowly missing out on the win (by a second in it) to Ethiopian athlete Kenenisa Bekele, Mo made a late charge to close down the gap between them creating a memorable final. Stating it was ‘great race, with a great finish‘ hopefully the British Olympic medal winner will be back next year to take the crown.
Well done to everyone who took part this year!