road closures, map, start time, and everything else about the Newcastle half marathon
Thousands of people are getting ready to hit the streets for the Great North Run.
The event was founded in 1981 by Olympian Brendan Foster, when 12,000 people took part and it has been growing in popularity ever since – it is now the biggest half marathon in the UK with more than 40,000 taking part in 2018.
As well as tens of thousands of runners, there will be crowds of spectators and hundreds of volunteers getting involved in the race between Newcastle and South Shields.
Here is everything you need to know about this year’s Simplyhealth Great North Run.
When is it?
The race takes place on Sunday 8th September.
The main race when the majority of runners begin, starts at 10.40am.
The timetable for the day is as follows:
7.30am: Information point at the Town Moor, near Exhibition Park, opens
8.00am: Baggage buses on Claremont Road open
9.00am: Event and Charity Villages open at finish area
9.15am: Start assembly area opens
10.05am: Baggage buses leave
10.10am: Elite wheelchair race starts
10.15am: Elite women start and Mass Great North Run warm-up
10.30am: Assembly area closes
10.40am: Great North Run starts (Elite men and the masses)
Runners need to arrive and be in their assembly area by 10.30am latest – anyone who arrives later than 11.30am may not be able to take part in the race.
What’s the route and how long is it?
The race is a half marathon which is 13.1 miles long and runs from Newcastle upon Tyne to South Shields.
The starting line is on the Central Motorway, where different coloured zones will indicate where runners should start, as well as information points, toilets and water points around the area.
The runners will then go through the city centre towards the River Tyne and across the Tyne Bridge.
Travelling through Gateshead towards South Shields, roads on the route including Park Road Abbotsford Road, Leam Lane and John Reid Road.
From here, there is a mile to the finish, which is at The Leas at South Shields.
Along the route, there will be music from Bands on the Run and crowds of supporters getting into the spirit of the race and cheering on the runners.
The course is subject to change, so for the most up to date route, see the Great Run app.
Who’s taking part?
People aged 17 and over can enter the race. It costs £56 to take part.
Those who entered to take part should have received an email to confirm whether they’ve got a spot. You can double-check using the online Ballot Check.
Many of the runners will be doing it to raise money for charity while a host of elite runners will be racing for top times.
Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah has won the elite men’s Great North race for five years in a row and will be back again this year to try and defend his title.
His wife, Lady Tania, will also be taking part in the event, in the mass race.
How to get there and where can I watch it?
Bus stations close to the event starting point are at Haymarket and Eldon Square.
There will be shuttle services from the starting line in Newcastle to the finishing line in South Shields, for all those who won’t be running this year but still want to join in the fun.
Those travelling by Metro can expect busy trains and should plan ahead and leave plenty of time for the journey.
Haymarket Metro station is close to the start of the race, while Newcastle and South Shields Metro station is about 20 minutes’ walk from the finish line.
Additional trains have been put on by Tyne and Wear Metro to help people get to the start and finish line quicker.
The Shields Ferry and Transpennine Express will also be providing transport to the event.
Coaches will be running to the event from outside the region, with Nirvana offering a range of packages for those travelling to the race.
Baggage buses will be taking runners’ bags from the start of the race to the finish.
Anyone driving to the event should be aware of road closures and know there is no official event parking, so should plan their travel carefully in advance.
Those taking part can also let their loved ones track them as they make their way along the route through the official Great Run app.
Those who can’t make it down to cheer on the runners from the sidelines can catch the event live on BBC One from 9.30am to 1.30pm on the day.
A highlights show will be broadcast on BBC2 at 5pm that day.
These are the road closures currently planned for event, but anyone heading to the event is advised to check before travelling for the most up to date information:
The following roads will be closed on Sunday 8 September:
A194 Leam Lane – White Mare Pool Interchange to John Reid Road Roundabout (A1300) will close 9:45am to 4pm
Bents Park Road in South Shields will close 2.45am to 5pm
A167 Central Motorway (including Tyne Bridge) – B1318 Great North Road Interchange to A184 Park Lane will close 8:45am to 5pm
A1300 John Reid Road – to Prince Edward Road (A1300) to Redwell Lane/Coast Road (A183) Roundabout will close 9:45am to 4pm
A184 Park Lane – A184 Felling Bypass to White Mare Pool Interchange (Leam Lane A194) will close 9am to 5pm
A183 Redwell Lane/Coast Road Roundabout – to Coast Road (A183) Roundabout with Sea Road and Mowbray Road 8am to 5pm
This road will be closed from 8pm on Saturday 7 September to 5pm on Sunday 8 September: A167 Central Motorway – Cowgate Roundabout to Great North Road (B1318) Interchange.
How do I find out more?
For more details and up to date information about the race, visit the Great North Run website, see the official event guide or the free Great Run app available from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
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