Objects | Society


Great North Run finish line tape, 1981

South Shields Museum & Art Gallery, Tyne and Wear


1946 To Today

The North East has a long association with sport and a unique running heritage. For many years, the region was home to England’s oldest road running event - the Morpeth to Newcastle Road Race, which began in 1904.

The first Great North Run, the brainchild of Jarrow born champion athlete Brendan Foster, was held on Sunday 28 June 1981and was completed by over 10,000 runners. Starting on the central motorway in Newcastle, the 13.1 mile route crossed the Tyne Bridge and along the Felling Bypass to the finish line at South Shields.

Today the Great North Run is the largest athletics event held in North East England and, with 38,822 finishers in 2000, it was officially recognised as the world’s largest half-marathon. Over the past three decades it has become firmly established as one of the biggest days in the North East’s calendar. Dubbed as being the world’s most popular half-marathon, the Run attracts a broad range of people from every region of the country and every walk of life.

On display at South Shields Museum

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