The opening ceremony of the Great North Run in 2014 will be remembered as one of the most spectacular occasions ever seen on the Newcastle and Gateshead quaysides.
The world’s greatest half marathon was to become the first running event in history to welcome home its one millionth finisher and it was marked with a unique celebration just three days before the Great North Run.
Now people are being given the chance to relive the unforgettable experience as a special film has been made of it which captures the excitement of the momentous occasion.
Beth Bate, of Great North Run Culture said: “It was an amazing night and ever since it happened we have been inundated with requests to capture the evening with a commemorative film. We’re delighted to now be able to share that with everyone.”
A capacity crowd on the banks of the quaysides witnessed the spectacular telling of the epic tale of the North East – a story of creativity, inspiration and ingenuity.
Ant and Dec welcomed the crowds, international athletics royalty lined up to pay homage to the world’s favourite half-marathon, including Mo Farah, Haile Gebrselassie, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Mike McLeod and Paula Radcliffe.
Devised by Artistic Director Bradley Hemmings and written by award-winning local author David Almond, the Great North Run Million Opening Ceremony was narrated by Jill Halfpenny and Tim Healy and featured live music from Sting, Mark Knopfler, The Unthanks and Chase & Status.
Enormous projections by Tal Rosner onto The Sage Gateshead provided a breathtaking backdrop for fireworks, pyrotechnics, aerial performances, boats on the Tyne, performances from Lords of Lightning, a cast of hundreds and a giant running woman, aflame as she headed towards the millionth finish.
Designed by Jon Bausor and with music composed by Dan Jones and played by the Royal Northern Sinfonia, The Great North Run Million Opening Ceremony celebrated ordinary people working together to achieve extraordinary things, all inspired by the energy of a million runners powering Tyneside’s past and future.
The Great North Run culture website now features the most special night in the history of the Great North Run at www.greatnorthrunculture.org/gnr-million-opening-ceremony.
The 2015 Great North Run will be staged on Sunday September 13. The general entry ballot will open on Friday 9 January at www.greatrun.org/north