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United KingdomCheveron Right IconNorth EastCheveron Right IconNewcastle upon Tyne

The SimplyHealth Great North Run

Run 13.1mi

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Places are hard to come by for this hugely popular half marathon. With around 50,000 participants, there'll be no shortage of supporters to cheer you on to the finish by the scenic South Shields coastline. Come for an extremely well-organised event and the exclusive finisher's medal and t-shirt.

Review summary

21 Reviews
  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere


"The biggest and best half marathon in the world! The spectators are so..."


"This is my favourite run of the year the atmosphere is the best i have..."


"Very well organised especially as the Red Arrows flew over as I crossed the..."
See all reviews

Distances in this event

  1. Half Marathon

    Run 13.1mi
    Entry Closed

Event details

  • Road
  • Finisher’s medal
  • Closed roads
  • Undulating
  • 57000 participants

From the organizer

Organizer's website

The World's biggest and most iconic half marathon. Be part of this amazing day and run alongside top athletes and celebrity runners. This spectator-lined course covers 13.1 miles from Newcastle, across the iconic Tyne Bridge and onto a picturesque coastal finish in South Shields.

Broadcast live on the BBC, the Simplyhealth Great North Run, on Sunday 8 September 2019, sees thousands of runners take on the half marathon challenge every year. Starting in Newcastle upon Tyne the 13.1 mile course is lined with supporters all the way from the iconic Tyne Bridge, right out towards the stunning coastline in South Shields. Since 1981 the world's greatest half marathon has welcomed over one million people across the finish line in South Shields and we're looking forward to cheering on the next million.

The SimplyHealth Great North Run route

Course Maps
What’s Included

What You Get:

Exclusive Medal And T-Shirt
Goodie-Filled Finisher’S Pack
Timing Chip For Accurate Results
Free Training And Advice
Security Of Closed Roads
Be Part Of The World’S Most Iconic Half Marathon

Course Details

Starting in Newcastle upon Tyne the 13.1 mile route takes runners through the city centre towards the River Tyne where thousands of people will cross over the iconic Tyne Bridge, where if you’re lucky, you might get a glimpse of the Red Arrows passing overhead.

From there runners will travel through Gateshead while being entertained by our Bands on the Run. The route, lined by thousands of supporters, leads runners to South Shields where at the top of Prince Edward Road the view of the sea is one of the most welcoming sights along the whole course.

From that point there is just over a mile to go and the crowds get louder as runners make their way down the final straight towards the finish line.

Please note: the course may be subject to change.

Raceday Logistics

Top tips for event day success:

Last minute preparation

Get your kit ready the day before to avoid rushing around on the morning of the event and pack clothes appropriate for the potential weather conditions. Run in comfortable kit that you have worn during training. This includes everything from your running shoes and socks to your underwear and top. New kit may cause chafing, blisters or general discomfort.

Don't run on empty

No matter how nervous you feel before an event, don't run on empty. Toast and jam, cereal with milk or even a banana smoothie will fuel your efforts. Eat at least two hours before your event, to allow time for digestion.

Don't overdress

While you don't want to get cold and wet on the start line, avoid the temptation to overdress. Wear a bin liner over your running garb to keep rain off or a top layer that you can peel off and throw away once you warm up (perhaps buy some old gear from a charity shop).

Be lav savvy

Toilet queues are an occupational hazard for runners, so allow plenty of time for your pre-run visit to the loo. But once you've been, try to resist the urge to go again - it's most likely nerves (especially if you don't customarily need to go three times an hour!) The chances are you'll forget all about the urge once you've started running.

Organise your fans!

Try to have as many friends and family out there as possible on the day. Remember to get your name printed on the front of your t-shirt or vest - hearing your name called, even by a total stranger, is hugely motivating. All Great Run events feature your name on your timing chip which you attach to your top – you are more than just a number.

Stick to the familiar

You've probably heard the advice about never doing anything on race day that you haven't tried in training. (That's why you aren't going to set off on race day in a brand spanking new pair of trainers.... promise!) But the rule also applies to food and drink. If you've never eaten mini mars bars, orange segments or bananas on the run, then politely decline them from well-meaning spectators - you just don't know how your body might react.

Keep your head up

As you get tired, you may find that your head drops and you're looking at your feet. This not only tips your torso forward, making your running technique less efficient, it can also sap your spirit, because you aren't making eye contact with fellow runners or spectators. Keeping your head up gives you a much more confidence stance and sends a positive message to your subconscious mind. Once you are on the final few miles, pick out a runner and try to catch them up. Even if you don't manage it, it gives you something to focus on.

Enjoy yourself

Whether you are hell bent on achieving a new personal best time or simply making it to the finish line in one piece, try to enjoy the journey as well as the destination. You've put so much into preparing for this big day, so savour it and be proud of yourself.

Beyond the finish line

When you cross the finish line (and you will!), don't stop suddenly. Keep moving while your heart rate and breathing rate get back to normal. And remember to stretch out your muscles (unless they are very sore and tender, in which case it's best to leave stretching for another day). Eat and drink something within the first half hour of finishing and change into some warm dry clothes and footwear.


How is the ballot drawn?

The ballot is drawn completely randomly; it doesn’t take into account your gender, age or whether or not you have taken part in the event before etc.

I have been unsuccessful in the ballot, how else can I secure a place in the event?

If you have been unsuccessful in the ballot you can still apply for a place via one of the charities that have purchased a charity package.

I have entered the wrong estimated running time on my entry form, how do I change this?

If you would like to amend your estimated running time please send an email to [email protected] clearly stating your full name, postcode, which event you have entered and your new estimated running time. We will then be able to amend this for you.

This is an important safety measure and we ask that you enter an accurate time.

Please ensure you notify Great North Run at least six weeks prior to the event (ten weeks if you have entered the Great North Run or a Marathon event) otherwise we will be unable to amend.

When will I receive my Race Pack?

For the Great North Run and our Marathon events the race packs will be sent out four weeks prior to the event. For all other Great Run events, packs are sent out approximately two weeks prior to the event.

I haven’t received my Race Pack, what should I do?

If your race pack does not arrive please email [email protected] The team will verify your entry and give you details as to how you can collect a replacement pack on race weekend.

Competitor’s information guides can also be downloaded from the webpage of the event you have entered.

What Start Zone/Wave have I been allocated to?

Your starting time and wave allocation will depend on your estimated running time as stated on your entry form.

Runners can determine what wave they have been allocated to by looking at their race number, which is sent out in the race pack. The background colour of the race number and letter will determine which zone runners are in.

Full details of wave assembly points and start times can be found in your race pack and in the Competitors Information Guide, which can be downloaded from the events webpage.

I am not happy with my Start Zone/Wave allocation and want to move up into a faster wave:

Due to the number of runners taking part in our events, we ask runners not to move to a faster wave (towards the start line). Runners should stay in the wave they've been allocated, or move further away from the start line to a slower wave. Race numbers have been allocated on the estimated time given on your application. If you feel you should be in a higher wave please email [email protected] for more details of how you can be moved to a higher wave.

What do I receive when I cross the finish line?

All finishers will receive a finisher's pack as soon as they cross the finish line. Finishers' packs are sorted by size, so please take the t-shirt size you asked for on your entry form.

How do I view my race results?

To view your race results please visit Make sure the correct event is highlighted and then you can search by your Race Number or Surname.

The SimplyHealth Great North Run reviews (21)

4.9 out of 5 stars

  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere
  • A

    Amy A

    Did the Half Marathon in 2017

    The biggest and best half marathon in the world! The spectators are so supportive and the atmosphere is AMAZING!
  • N

    Neil W

    Did the Half Marathon in 2018

    This is my favourite run of the year the atmosphere is the best i have completed The London Marathon this year but i think The Great North Run is a far better event from organisation all the way to the atmoshere from the great north east crowd
  • R

    Rich G

    Did the Half Marathon in 2018

    Very well organised especially as the Red Arrows flew over as I crossed the finish line! Great atmosphere...
  • T

    Tony D

    Did the Half Marathon in 2018

    Amazing race, with fantastic support from huge friendly crowds! Running over the Tyne Bridge is an amazing moment.
  • Did the Half Marathon in 2018

    2018 was my first GNR & I could not believe the amazing atmosphere, as soon as I was able I put my in the ballet for 2019. Since getting place I have been looking forward to another great day. I recommend to everyone to run the GNR at least once in their lives.
  • C

    Chris y

    Did the Half Marathon in 2018

    Me and 2 mate from NZ ran our first Half marathon in the north east my home town and we all loved the crowd's and organization apart from the end when everyone is trying to leave it takes forever to get back
  • J

    Jane D

    Did the Half Marathon in 2018

    Great North Run 2018 was my third Great North Run! There is nothing quite like it- the atmosphere will surpass any expectations you have! It’s a busy course but you don’t do the GNR to get a PB: you do it to fundraise, to dress up, to challenge yourself and to have fun! It’s really well organised and communications leading up to the event are great.
  • K

    Kirsty P

    Did the Half Marathon in 2018

    I’ve taken part in the Great North Run since 2015 and I could not recommend this race enough! The atmosphere can not be matched!
  • C

    Colin P

    Did the Half Marathon in 2018

    I've done in total 19 GNR runs
    5 of them as Big Pink Dress
    I've ran in 63 races all over the country and this one is by far the best run there is
    It's a total delight to be involved in .
    The volunteers are so helpful and friendly, the Organisation is second to none .
    You will also never find a better atmosphere .
    Love this run
  • J

    Jenny W

    Did the Half Marathon in 2018

    Run the Great North Run for 5 years now and it is by far my most favourite run! The atmosphere and the crowds are out of this world. Its the perfect run for newbies as the whole experience keeps you going to the very end. You honestly feel you are a part of something wonderful when you run it. The highlight is running over the Tyne Bridge

Questions & answers

Get answers from our team or a member of our dedicated community.

What would you like to know about this event?
  • Joanne I
    As a slow runner I’m always near the back. Will their still be any support for the slower runners
    Steph E
    Hi there! There will be just as much support for the slower runners as there is for the faster runners :)