The Great North Run Celebrates 40 Years in style

Great Comeback 1

Organisers confirm return to South Shields next year

The world’s biggest half marathon, the Great North Run, presented by ExpressTest by Cignpost, celebrated its 40th staging in spectacular style in Newcastle on Sunday.

The occasion marked four decades of running, fundraising and regional pride in an event that has become the UKs biggest mass participation run and a must do race for runners from all over the world.

After its cancellation last year due to the pandemic, the event also provided a much-needed opportunity to pay tribute to some of the local heroes of the last 18 months. Its Great North Thank You Campaign, supported by proud partners HSBC and North of Tyne Combined Authority, celebrated the contribution of key workers, including four NHS staff who were the event’s official starters.

Chairman and Founder Sir Brendan Foster said, “After such an incredibly testing time for the whole country it was so important for us to celebrate being back together on the start line in Newcastle today.

“It was incredible to see so many people taking on the challenge, with a huge number of them raising much needed funds for charities.

“Once again, the people of the region did us proud, so whether you were running, volunteering or spectating, thank you for making the 40th Great North Run such a fantastic success.”

Due to the pandemic and the need to keep runners safe on site, the iconic event saw some changes to its course for the first time in its history. Starting and finishing in Newcastle, the event saw runners cross the Tyne Bridge twice and run through the city centre for first and only time. Organisers have confirmed the event will return to its original course, finishing in the coastal town of South Shields next year.

Some well-known faces joined the masses with the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, running with Leeds Rhinos Legend Jamie Jones Buchanan for the Rob Burrow Foundation and the MND Association.

After crossing the line in under two hours Andy said, “It’s been an amazing day in Newcastle, and the support and encouragement from the crowds along the way made it an unforgettable experience.”
The Elite Men’s race gave even more occasion for celebration when Yorkshireman Marc Scott became the first male winner from the north to win the world’s largest half marathon since Bolton’s Steve Kenyon won in 1985.
Northallerton’s Scott stretched ahead of Edward Cheserek with two miles to go to finish in 61:22, with Cheserek in 61.31. Galen Rupp finished third in 61.52.


In the women’s race, Hellen Obiri held off a hugely impressive challenge from debutant Eilish McColgan to take a hard-fought victory. The Kenyan, herself making her first appearance on Tyneside, led from the start and broke clear of McColgan in the final mile to win in 67.42, with McColgan second in 67.48. Fellow Brit Charlotte Purdue was third in 68.49.

In the wheelchair race, Shelly Woods won her eight Great North Run in 57.01, with Jade Hall second and Catriona Johnston third in 57.49 and 100:41 respectively. Simon Frame was the men’s winner in 49.52 with Simon Lawson second in 51.20 and Callum Hall in third with a time of 51.27.

Next year’s Great North Run will take place on Sunday 11 September 2022, the ballot for places in the event will open on Monday 9 January. Sign up to the reminder service here.