From world class competitors and amateur athletes to money raising runners and a spectacular number of spectators, the Great North Run is much more than a marathon. It’s a great day out!
Since it was first staged in 1981, the Great North Run has grown and grown. These days September sees over 50,000 runners pounding the pavements of Newcastle in the hope of winning the half marathon, beating their personal best or raising some money for charity. Only the Great Manchester Run and London Marathon come close to attracting similar numbers.
The men’s record was set by Martin Mathathi in 2011 with a run of 58:56 minutes, while Mary Jepkosgei Keitany's women's record of 65:39 minutes was set in 2014. Mo Farah is the first person to win the event three times in a row.
Starting in the centre of Newcastle at around 10.30am, the Great North Run winds its way eastwards through Gateshead and South Tyneside before finishing in South Shields. There’s a huge choice of great viewing spots along the way, but make sure you get there early to have your pick.
There are lots of car parks to choose from in Newcastle’s city centre. Once you’re parked up, you can walk to the Great North Run start line on the central motorway.
Newcastle’s city centre’s three bus stations: Eldon Square, Haymarket and Northumberland, give you plenty of options along the route.
If you’re heading into Newcastle from around the UK, you’ll find the start of the race a short walk from Central station.
Take the Metro to Haymarket and you’ll have a 15 minute walk to the start of the race. If you’d prefer to see the winners, head to South Shields and it’s a 15 minute walk to the finish line.
If you want to take on the half marathon after you touch down at Newcastle Airport, take the Metro or a taxi and you’ll be in the town centre in under 30 minutes.
Don’t forget to get a Great North Run route map. With mile markers, toilets, water stations and showers all pointed out, it makes getting around a lot easier.
The race is run over quite a few hours. But don’t worry, if you’re feeling peckish, you’ll find plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from.
Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a sit down meal, you’ll find lots choice in Newcastle. Take your pick of street food vendors along the marathon’s route or wait till the finish line for something more substantial. Find everything from fish and chips at Coleman’s to curry at Spice Garde in South Shields.
We have a huge range of hotels in the North East for the business and leisure traveller. If you're on business, check into our airport hotels. We also have a range of hotels ideally located for a weekend break away. There are hotels near Newcastle University plus a collection of budget hotels for the price conscious Whichever part of Newcastle you’re planning to visit, you’ll find comfortable Premier Inn hotels nearby.