A former teacher and charity worker from the North East of England, I love people and places and like to try out new experiences wherever possible. Capturing that 'perfect pic' is all part of the pleasure. Access issues are a particular interest.
Update August 4th 2015
The Bupa Great North Run 2015 will be on Sunday 13th September. Following the success of last year's 1 Millioneth runner across the line, it is expected that this year's participants will reach 57,000
Update September 12th 2014
Tracy Crammond became the Great North Run's One Millionth runner to cross the finishing line on Sunday 7th September 2014.
The local North East lass was surprised and delighted as she met Lord Coe and architect of the world-renowned half-marathon, Brendan Foster.
Update August 26th 2014
It has just been announced that North East superstar Sting will be performing at the GNRMillion Opening Ceremony on Thursday 4th September 2014. Singing extracts from his hit Broadway musical 'The Last Ship', which he co-wrote with fellow Geordie Jimmy Nail, Sting will be flying over from New York especially for the event. Joining him will be multi-award winning local lads Ant & Dec, who will be introducing the acts performing on the night.
Update August 26th 2014
And, it has just been announced that North East Superstar Sting will be flying over from New York to perform extracts from his hit musical 'The Last Ship' - which he co-wrote with fellow Geordie Jimmy Nail - in the Opening Ceremony of this spectacular event on Thursday 4th September 2014. Geordie favourites Ant & Dec will also be introducing the show at the Quayside venue in Newcastle.
A Million Reasons to Celebrate A Region's Passion
UPDATE: The organisers have now announced that Sting will be performing at the Opening Ceremony at the Newcastle/Gateshead Quayside on 4th September 2014. He will be performing extracts from his Broadway musical and album 'The Last Ship' especially for the GNRMillion. Multi-Award Winning Geordie duo Ant & Dec will also be introducing the acts in this celebration of a world-class event.
An extravagant Olympic style Opening Ceremony with light shows, pyrotechnics and and a huge choreographed display is planned this September as the iconic Bupa Great North Run expects to find its One Millionth runner amongst those crossing the finishing line.
After more than three decades, the prestigious race will be the first of its kind to reach the 1 Million target, so forget New York, London or Berlin, it's all happening on Tyneside.
Image from greatrun.org
Once again, the Great North Run provides the annual spectacle of thousands of runners crossing the world-famous Tyne Bridge as Tyneside goes 'Great North' crazy with a whole host of sporting activities taking place over one weekend and an array of Olympic and International Gold medal winners gracing the North East once more.
To mark the occasion a Grand Opening Ceremony will take place on the evening of September 4th and will involve a live performance from local guitar legend Mark Knopfler, who composed the 'Local Hero' theme tune - and which has long since been the adopted anthem of the race. One and a half thousand volunteers will also take part in a specially choreographed dance routine on the banks of the River Tyne around the Newcastle/Gateshead Quayside and the Millennium Bridge.
The organisers have commissioned top-class London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic designers headed by Artistic Director Bradley Hemmings to create a 'North East Story' based on the region's industrial past, with a script by award-winning writer David Almond. There's also a brand new orchestral piece by BAFTA Award winning composer Dan Jones, whose family hail from Gateshead, which has already been recorded by the Royal Northern Sinfonia Orchestra in preparation for the big day - in what will be an extravaganza of movement, light and surround sound.
Lord Coe – Olympic Gold Medallist at the Los Angeles games in 1984 and London Olympics 2012 supremo will officially start the race while the countdown to the One Millionth runner will be seen on big screens at the finishing post.
Sebastian Coe Wins Olympic Gold in Los Angeles 1984
Meanwhile, Double Gold Medallist at the London Games and 10,000m Gold Medal winner at the European Championship Games currently happening in Zurich 2014, Mo Farah has also announced that he will be running again this year after a first appearance in 2013 when he was pippid at the post by Ethiopian Olympian Kenenisa Bekele.
Bekele Pips Mo Farah at the Post in Great North Run last year
Alongside the prestigious half-marathon event there are junior and mini runs for children, city games for athletes from other disciplines and a 5k race set to take place on Saturday 6th September 2014.
The race attracts tens of thousands of runners every year, each one running for their own good cause.
Well known faces such as actors, sportspeople, televison and radio presenters and authors are among the many celebrities who will be donning their running shoes in aid of their favourite charities as the race snakes its way around the roads of Tyneside. Here's just a few.
Paula Lane who plays Kylie in Coronation Street is running for Henshaws Society for Blind People
James Cracknell, Double Olympic Rowing Gold Medallist
Terry Deary, Author of the 'Horrible Histories' childrens books
Angellica Bell, One Show presenter
The race will take its usual course from Newcastle's Town Moor, just outside the city centre, across the iconic Tyne Bridge and along the Felling by-pass towards the coast at South Shields, ending on The Leas which overlooks the sea between Marsden Bay and Sandhaven Beach in the town, where there are plenty of other attractions for visitors to enjoy.
The race will be organised with its usual precision, with drinks stations, mobile medical units, pick-up points and road-side showers to help runners if they need to cool down. Street entertainment will be there to motivate the runners and please the crowd as the 'bands on the run' take up their locations along the course, which is traditionally well supported by local people as they line the route. More info.
The end party is set to be electric as the historic race will see its One Millionth runner cross the line at some stage. Just imagine the tension as the counter reaches 999,999.
Once again the dynamic RAF Red Arrows Display Team will be thrilling the North East spectators with a flypast set to take place on Sunday 7th September - a scene that never disappoints.
The event is televised live by the BBC with veteran commentators and Olympians in there own right Brendan Foster and Steve Cram once more taking to the mikes. Who could have believed that when Brendan set up the first Great North Run in 1981, that it would reach it's One Millionth Runner and be the mass movement it has become today with races across Britain, Ireland and in Ethiopia?
Talk about pulling out all the stops.
And finally, somewhere among the thousands of runners taking part this year, my son Philip will running for the British Heart Foundation so Good Luck to him. Great North Run Million - It could be him.
Tickets for The Opening Ceremony on 4th September 2014 are available online priced at £12 for adults and £7 for children.
City Games, Junior and Mini events and 5k race are on Saturday 6 September.
The Great North Run Million event takes place on Sunday 7th September at 10.30am and is Free to spectators.
Entry for the race has closed for this year, however, some charities purchase block entries to the race so if you want to take part in the 2014 GNR, you will need to contact the charity concerned directly.
Next year's event takes place on Sunday 23rd August 2015