The Great North Run takes place annually in September and is currently celebrating its 40th year in 2021. You can find all information on the Great North Run and answers to the most frequent questions about the Great North Run in our FAQ section below. You can also visit greatrun.org/FAQs for further information and contact details.

FAQs about the Great North Run

What is the Great North Run?

The Great North Run is one of the largest sporting events in the UK and one of the biggest races in the world. Taking place annually since its inception in 1981, the race is a half-marathon which starts in the centre of Newcastle Upon Tyne and moves through the neighbouring borough of Gateshead towards South Tyneside. The finish line is located in South Shields on the North East Coast.

What is the new Great North Run route in 2021? 

In 2021 the route has change to ensure a covid secure race. Runners will start and finish the half marathon in Newcastle. For more information about the changes to route and see new route maps for 2021, click here.

Will I still run across the Tyne Bridge?

Yes - twice! Participants will still run across the famous Tyne Bridge as part of the Great North Run in 2021 and this year, there will be a bonus crossing with the new route taking runners across the Tyne Bridge twice.

When is the Great North Run?

Great North Run 2021 will take place on Sunday 12th September 2021.

What time does the Great North Run Start?

Specific start times will be allocated to participants to ensure a staggered start to the race. The final participants will therefore set off several hours after the first wave of runners. These changes to the timetable and the route have been introduced by organisers to ensure runners are able to socially distance both at the event and on the region’s transport network before and after the race.

Arriving safely for Great North Run

Organisers ask that participants are mindful of the coronavirus pandemic when the arrive at the start line. Please plan your journey in advance to make sure you do not arrive more than 30 minutes before your scheduled start time.
Your wave allocation, arrival times and approximate start time will be printed on the back of your run number.
Wear a face covering before and after the race and use hand sanitiser.

How long is the Great North Run?

The Great North Run is a half-marathon at 13.1 miles (21.08241 km).

Where does the Great North Run start?

The Great North Run begins on the A167 road just outside Newcastle City Centre. The route then follows through the centre of Newcastle Upon Tyne with runners crossing the Tyne Bridge on the Quayside and into Gateshead.

Where does the Great North Run end?

The Great North Run will end on Great North Road in Gosforth, Newcastle. 

Will there be a Finishers Village in 2021?

Yes - a Finishers Village will be ready and waiting for joyful runners when they complete the race. Head to Newcastle' Town Moor which is a found between the Central Motorway where participants started the race and the Great North Road where runners will find the finishing line.

When will the run be televised?

The BBC typically televise the Great North Run coverage on the Sunday of the main event from 09.30AM until 1.30 PM. Highlights are usually covered later in the day as well as general coverage appearing across a number of local news channels.

Which roads will be closed for the Great North Run?

There will be several road closures the day before The Great North Run and during the event including A167 Central Motorway where the run starts as well as the Tyne Bridge.

Covid Information for Great North Run 2021

What covid secure measures are in place for runners taking part in the race?

There are a number of measures in place for participants to follow to ensure safety of all during the event.

  • Do not arrive more than 30 minutes before your race time.
  • Wear a mask before and after your race.
  • Use hand sanitiser - there will be multiple hand sanitiser stations around the site
  • Be aware that organisers may send you last minute updates via email before the race.
  • Maintain social distancing before, during and after the race
  • Adhere to all signage on course, at the start and finish.
  • Please DO NOT attend the event if:
    • If you have any signs or symptoms of Covid -19 in the past 10 days
    • You have had a fever of equal or more than 38 degrees Celsius
    • If you have been in contact with anyone who has been sick or has symptomatic in 10 days prior to the event

How should I travel to the race?

Organisers are advising that participants please use private transport where possible to arrive and depart from the race. If using public transport, please be respectful of others and maintain social distancing, following the guidelines of the network providers. 

What will happen if the 2021 Great North Run event is cancelled?

If the 2021 event date is changed or cancelled by Great North Run organisers, all entrants (including 2020 rollovers) will be automatically moved into the subsequent staging of the event. This could be if there is a national lockdown or the region is effected by localised government restrictions and measures. Great North Run will notify all entrants with any updates. 

What happens if a runner tests positive or has to self-isolate?

If you are notified a contact has tested positive in the 10 days before the event or, if you have a positive test and must self-isolate, you must follow government advice on isolating at home. In both instances, Great North Run organisers will roll your place over to the 2022 staging of the event if you send evidence of the request to isolate to info@greatrun.org.

Will people be allowed to spectate this year?

Organisers have yet to release full information about spectators for the 2021 race but have stated that there is likely to be restrictions around spectators at the event. Please make sure that you check your pre-race emails and keep an eye on Great North Run's website for updates closer to the time.

Information For Runners

If you have any queries to do with your entry in the Great North Run, you want to withdraw your place or need more specific information about taking part in the Great North Run - visit the Great North Run's FAQ page or please contact Great North Run directly.

What to do if my submission details are incorrect?

If you have provided the incorrect address or made a mistake with the details on your application form, we advise contacting the Great Run Company directly to amend these. Forward your query to info@greatrun.org  with your requested amendments at least six to ten weeks before the event to ensure that your Great North Run Race Entry Pack is sent to the right place.

How do I receive my Great North Run Race Entry Pack?

The Great North Run Race Entry Packs are sent to successful candidates up to four weeks before the event takes place. Contact info@greatrun.org if you have any queries or you're missing your entry pack.

How do I know which zone or wave I will be running in?

Your start time and wave allocation will be based on the estimated running time stated on your entry form and will be reflected by a colour system. Information will be sent through with your Great North Run Race Entry Pack to tell you which zone and wave you will be part of and where the assembly points are on the day. 

Visiting the North East for the Great North Run

Travelling to the North East

You can travel to the North East by air, bus, car, or train using our excellent connecting transport services. Direct rail services run to Newcastle Central Station via LNER ( London North Eastern Railway), Northern Rail, TransPennine Express and Grand Central Trains. Megabus or tour bus services also run to several central points within Newcastle and Gateshead town centres and can be booked online.

If arriving by air, you can travel to Newcastle International Airport from most domestic and international destinations. The airport is located around 8 miles from the city centre and is connected directly to Newcastle City Centre and Gateshead via the Metro Train System. Trains run regularly with a journey time of 20-30 minutes. Car parking, car hire and taxis can be booked from within the airport or prior to arrival.

Find out more about travelling and Plan Your Visit.

In previous years, train companies like LNER have scheduled additional trains to support participants and their families. We will update with more information nearer the time.

Travelling around the Great North Run Route

There are great public transport links with both Newcastle city centre and near the finishing line and Town Moor Finishers Village including nearby metro stations at Regents Centre, South Gosforth, Ilford Road, West Jesmond and Jesmond as well as Haymarket in Newcastle.

We will update this section when more information about the new Great North Run route is announced.

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