What to Expect at the AJ Bell Great North Run

The AJ Bell Great North Run Weekend is almost here, and we can’t wait for you to be part of it. Whether you’ll be raring to go on the start line, or part of the thousands lining the streets in support – there is so much to be excited about.  

Expect a true celebration of the Power of Running across the weekend’s 5k, Junior and Mini events, and half-marathon, with an exhilarating party atmosphere, some incredible fundraising exploits and countless challenges conquered.  This year’s event promises to be a special one, so here are some things to look and listen out for on Sunday 10 September:

A Fitting Farewell to a Legend

Four-time Olympic gold medalist, six-time World Champion and (most importantly of all!) six-time Great North winner, Sir Mo Farah epitomises the Power of Running.  It’s fitting that this year’s event will provide the stage for his last ever professional race.  For fans and fellow runners, this is a unique opportunity to celebrate his illustrious career and be a part of one final, momentous race – #OneMoTime if you will.

The Iconic Half-Marathon Route

Picture the scene – you’re running along the mighty Tyne Bridge, with the distinctive Newcastle skyline behind you, the Sage to your left, and the Baltic beyond that.  Or maybe you’re more about hitting the coast, seeing the sea and taking in the “greatest final mile” in road running as you near the famous South Shields finish. Either way, Paula Radcliffe, who’s won it twice, described it as an “iconic course” and she isn’t wrong.

The Red Arrows

The roar of the Red Arrows overhead is a truly special moment.  They first joined the event in 2002 and have been a much-loved feature ever since.  See them soar over the Tyne Bridge, leaving vibrant streaks of red, white and blue in their wake as they head to the Coast for their famous South Shields performance at the finish.  Make sure to give them a wave and a cheer when you spot them, you won’t be alone!

An Action Packed Weekend: 8 – 10 Sept

The weekend kicks off in style on Friday evening with 2,000 runners taking on the fast and flat AJ Bell Great North 5K, and some of Britian’s best athletes taking part in the UK Road Championships over 5K and 1 mile.

Next up, the kids take centre stage on Super Saturday – the AJ Bell Junior and Mini Great North Run is the UK’s biggest kids running event, with 10,000 juniors (ages 9-16) and minis (ages 3-8) taking part.  There’s nothing quite like the amazing sight of thousands of happy, smiling, active kids taking part for fun, for charity, for a challenge, and earning a very special medal for their efforts.

On Sunday, it’s half-marathon time. 13.1 miles stand between 60,000 runners and the finish line.  At the front of the field some of the world’s best athletes will battle it out to be crowned the 2023 champion, but the AJ Bell Great North Run is also about ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

  • That Unforgettable Finish Line Feeling

There is no greater reward for all your hard work and training than the pure joy you will experience as you cross the finish line, completing a half-marathon, with the remarkable local support cheering you on. Fingers crossed, with the help of our brilliant Solgar pacemakers, you will have achieved a half-marathon time you were hoping for. Sweaty hugs and high fives will be exchanged before a well-deserved medal is placed around your neck, making the moment even more special. The BBC will be televising the event so who knows – your friends and family at home might be able to share the joy of the moment too, by spotting you on the T.V.

  • An Atmosphere Like No Other

13.1 miles of unbeatable local support, music, live bands, and charity cheer squads line the route to keep legs pumping and smiles on faces.  From the new Karaoke Kicks zone to the return of the North East’s best Samba bands, there are surprises and old favourites along the way to build that jubilant atmosphere, turning a running event into a party.  Once you reach the finish, there’s the Après Run Zone – more live music to keep the celebrations going.  Enjoy listening to a live DJ, or kick back and tuck into a range of tasty food options – you’ve earned it!  Have a look here for a full list of what’s on offer.

It’s shaping up to be an action-packed weekend and we can’t wait to see you there.  To stay up-to-date with the latest event news and join the conversation on social media, have a look at our channels on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.