Great record breaking run

ORGANISERS have hailed this year’s Great North Run a huge success, and estimated it could break records for the amount of money raised for good causes.

ORGANISERS have hailed this year’s Great North Run a huge success, and estimated it could break records for the amount of money raised for good causes.

David Hart, communications director for Nova, the company which organised the event, said he was delighted with the way the day had gone.

“We had good TV coverage all over the world, broadcasting some spectacular images.

“The weather was perfect both for the runners and for showing off the region at its best.

“The blue skies, combined with the fact that Paula Radcliffe was running for the first time in a couple of years really brought out the crowds all along the route,” he said.

It is thought more than 350 charities will have benefited this year and early estimates suggest more than £10m has been raised altogether, which would be the largest amount ever raised in one year.

There were no deaths among the 36,000 strong field during this year’s race and four people who had to spend Sunday night in hospital have all been released.

Mr Hart said: “Each race is different and it is impossible to prevent all injuries and incidents. But overall this race helps people’s health, it gets them out running and doing some exercise.

“Our research suggests about 30% of people taking part in the Great North Run did no exercise before they entered the race.”

And the Great North Run proved especially popular with one national broadcaster. Mr Hart said: “I was in a car with Sue Barker driving to the finish line and she remarked on the number of people in the crowd. She also told me this is her favourite event of the year to cover, which was very nice to hear.”

And it is hoped the whole of the North-East will gain economic benefit from such a successful event.

“The whole of the region will have benefited from the coverage the race received.

“My personal favourite part was when the Red Arrows flew over at the end. They are always spectacular,” he said.

For the team behind the race it is already time to start planning for next year and beyond.

Mr Hart said: “Each race takes about 18 months of planning.

“We will have a post race meeting where we will pat ourselves on the back but then we will look at how we can make the race even better for next year. The Great North Run will never stand still.”

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