DAYS before the participants make their way to the start, one Bupa Great North Run record is already about to be broken, writes David Whetstone.
A 13.1-mile photographic exhibition, equal to the length of the half-marathon, is being assessed by Guinness World Records.
The Running Line was unveiled yesterday in Saltwell Park, Gateshead, in the presence of run founder Brendan Foster and some of the 800 children who helped create the work. Beth Rowson, who runs the Great North Run Cultural Programme, said the current record was held by an exhibition of about 30,000 images.
The Running Line has 139,000 photos, all taken at last year’s event and arranged into a laminated ribbon which runs all around the park, looping in and out of trees.
At the centre is a marquee with maps so people can find their photo.
Foster, who initiated the Cultural Programme three years ago, said: “We have always wanted the Cultural Programme to be as inclusive as possible, just like the Great North Run.
“This piece represents that ethos because anybody was able to take a photograph and have it included.”
The Running Line was the idea of photographer Julian Germain, of Allenheads, Northumberland. After watching the race two years ago, he returned last year with hundreds of leaflets inviting people to send photos.
He said: “The thing that struck me the first year was that so many people were taking photographs, either with cameras or mobile phones. I wondered if we could get all the photographs taken on the day and show them together.” The children helped set out the photographs.
The Great North Run is on September 30, but The Running Line will be in the park until October 21.
Also in the Cultural Programme is a film by Suky Best, About Running, which is at Baltic until October 14.
Last night, a musical composition by Michael Nyman called 50,000 Pairs of Feet Can’t Be Wrong, was premiered at The Sage Gateshead with visuals by Middlesbrough firm MoShine.