LiveGreat North Run celebrates record-breaking race landmark

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The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

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Summary

  • Sting, Mark Knofler and Ant and Dec are among the celebrities at the official opening ceremony of the Great North Run on Newcastle Quayside tonight.

10:31pm

See The Northern Echo tomorrow for pictures galore and a round-up of the night's events

10:31pm

And on Sunday the region will take centre stage again when the race itself takes place. Can't wait!

10:30pm

And that's that - what an evening it has been for the North-East. A host of the region's legends putting on a show to rival any seen on the national or international stage.

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Floating displays on the Tyne included Viking longboats, and a pitwheel... And with that... Sting is now on stage

9:25pm

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Dancers in hard hats and overalls have now taken to the Quayside as part of a routine designed to celebrate the North-East's industrial heritage.

9:20pm

The Northern Echo:

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Now the ceremony has started in earnest with Jill Halfpenny narrating an epic poem written by prize winning North-East author David Almond.

9:04pm

IAAF president Lamine Diack is next in line to pay tribute to the GNR. "The Great North Run has for many decades given ordinary citizens from all over the world  a chance to be inspired and seek to improve themselves and through charity, give generously to others."

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He thanks Brendan Foster for all his work in organising the event - and assures the crowd he will run the GNR again.

"See you next year", he signs off with.

8:55pm

Haile Gebrselassie is now being interviewed by Jonathan Edwards. He says he doesn't want to be the millionth finisher - but he wants to come back.

 

8:53pm

She holds the women's record for the course - and is hoping it's not beaten on Sunday.

"Every year the Great North Run is special," she says.

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Tanni Grey-Thompson, who won the GNR multiple times has spoken of her pride in the event.... And now Paula Radcliffe is on the stage.

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He also announces he has had a lovely chat with Newcastle United and England legend Peter Beardsley.

8:49pm

He tells the crowd he really enjoys the Great North Run and wants to keep coming back for years to come.

8:48pm

After some banter about the back end of pantomime horses, double Olympic hero Mo Farah is welcomed on stage.

8:46pm

Great North Run founder Brendan Foster is now on stage being interviewed by hosts Ant and Dec. He says tonight's event is to thank all the people who make the GNR what it is.

"The Great North Run is about ordinary people doing extraordinary things for extraordinary reasons," he tells the crowd.

8:39pm

Mark Knopfler is now on stage and is striking up the opening chords of Local Hero. His image is being projected onto a massive screen at the side of the Sage.

8:38pm

8:36pm

Breaking news from our man Gavin Englebrecht: Ant and Dec have taken to the stage to open proceedings, to screams of delight from the crowd.

Taking the microphone, Dec promised the evening is going to be a "pure belter" of an opening ceremony.

8:34pm

Some interesting technical issues for our snapper Dave Wood tonight

The Northern Echo:

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Crowds are gathering for big event

The Northern Echo:

 

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Crowds are starting to filter down to the Quayside. A sense of expectation in the air. This is certain to be a night to remember. 

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And here's another pic from the Echo's Dave Wood

The Northern Echo:

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Pictures are starting to come in of the build-up to the event. Here's one from Northern Echo snapper Dave Wood

The Northern Echo:

3:45pm

Sting & Tim Healy among the stars spotted on The Quayside this afternoon with final preparations now well underway

3:10pm

DRIVERS are being warned that several roads will be closed during tonight’s Great North Run Million Opening Ceremony onTyneside.

Doors open at 7.30pm and the ceremony is expected to be over by 10pm.

Police have warned that a number of roads in the area will be closed between 6pm and midnight including Quayside Road, Sandhill, The Swing Bridge, Bottle Bank, Pipewellgate, Broad Chare and South Shore Road.

In particular, drivers are being warned the Tyne Bridge will be closed between 8.30pm and 10.30pm.

Superintendent Gillian Mitchell, of Northumbria Police, said: "We will be supporting the organisers throughout the event to ensure there is minimum disruption to motorists in the area and that traffic is flowing.

"There may be minor delays as there will be extra traffic in the area and motorists may want to leave slightly longer for their journey."

3:07pm

Check back for Gavin Engelbrecht's live updates starting at 7.30pm.

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