Your Guide to the Great North Run 2021

Nonstop entertainment from start to finish and a very long thank you.  Here’s the lowdown on everything you’ll experience at this year’s Great North Run. 

The Great North Run is just around the corner and we couldn’t be more excited to be back!  We know this year will be a little bit different, but the thrill of running across the Tyne Bridge together, hearing chants of Oggy Oggy Oggy echoing through the tunnels and the roar of the Red Arrows overhead, will ensure it remains an event day experience like no other.  Here’s a summary of what you can expect from event day on Sunday 12 September. 


Take a walk down memory lane on your route to the start.  This year we’re encouraging everyone to enter the event village on Town Moor via Claremont Road.  This entrance is the closest to the Arrival Zone which has the Baggage Marquees, Toilets and Customer Information tent. 

Our Great North Memory lane will span the full 100m length across the Claremont Road Bridge, giving all runners a grand entrance into the event village.  Pictures from across the years and messages of support will send you on your way to the start of something very special. 


The event is famous for its buzzing atmosphere, Geordie support lining the route, cheering charities and lots of live music.  With more than 20 music and support zones, prepare to be entertained from start to finish.  Here’s what you can expect to see (and of course hear) on your run: 

  • Bands on the Run – We’ve lined up some of the very best bands and local musical artists to provide the soundtrack to your run.  From DJ’s to drummers to guitarists, they’ll have you bopping, clapping, singing and running to the beat 
  • Toon Tunes – Our very own music zone will raise your running to the next level with a DJ truck providing the beats and bubbles blowing everywhere!  We want to see those hands up 
  • Metro Radio Motivation Zone – The Metro Radio crew are turning up the volume (and the lights!) with their motivation zone that will be sure to add an extra skip to your step 
  • Charity Cheering Buses – Loud cheering, clapping and hollering your name, the charity cheering buses provide instant motivation and inspiration for runners.  This year there are 12 cheering buses on the course and a further 15 designated cheering points.  That’s a lot of cheering! 
  • The LGBTQ+ Cheer Point brought to you by Nissan will bring the colour and a wall of noise to your run.  The high energy cheer zone will have you smiling, whooping and most importantly pumping your legs a little faster 

3)  PBs & PACERS 

With crowds cheering, fellow runners spurring each other on, and training in the bank, race day always lends itself to a PB opportunity. 

If you’re looking to make it to the finish line in a particular time, our team of pacers will be on hand to help you achieve your goal.  There will be 52 pacers in total, from 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours 45minutes, depending on your wave allocation.  Look out for our pacers wearing the red gear, with a giant flag on their back and a huge smile on their faces! 


This year, at our landmark 40th staging of the Great North Run, we’ll also be welcoming runners back to the start-line after one of the most challenging experiences in living memory.  As we celebrate four incredible decades of fundraising, individual endurance and collective triumph it is also very important for us to say a Great North THANK YOU to the entire nation, for their efforts during the pandemic.   

With the support of proud partner HSBC UK, we want to recognise the incredible individual efforts of some of those who went above and beyond to help others, as well as every single one of you who stayed home, made space and changed your daily lives for the good of our communities.   

Those 13 inspirational individuals, from all walks of life, will be celebrated through a large-scale visual installation along the course at this year’s Great North Run.  We will also recognise the incredible efforts with our THANK YOU MILE;  signs of thanks and appreciation will single out our NHS heroes, fundraisers, teachers, supermarket workers, care home carers, sports coaches, mental health guardians, and many more. 


Crossing the finish line to cheering crowds, you’ll be feeling elation, exhaustion and joy as you complete your challenge.  The greatest reward in taking part is the sense of achievement as you cross the finish line, but a shiny new medal, a snazzy finishers t-shirt and a finisher’s bag filled with goodies will await you at the end of the run. 

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of putting on your exclusive medal and finisher’s t-shirt that you collect once you’ve crossed the line.  Combine it with an ice-cold pint and the perfect post-run meal.  You’ve earned it! 

With entertainment zones that celebrate local character and culture, the best (and loudest!) crowd support anywhere in the world, and all the action televised live on the BBC, this is an event day experience like no other.  Your Great North Run awaits… find out more.