A team of dedicated runners will be taking to the city’s streets for the 33rd year in a row at the Bupa Great North Run.
The group, dubbed the All Runs Club, is made up of an exclusive collective of participants of the half marathon who have taken part every year since it began.
In total there are 112 runners who continue to tackle the 13.1 mile route every September without fail, including Anne Wilson.
The 69-year-old from Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, is one of only five women in the All Runs Club, which is made up of a mix of North East people and others from around the country.
Anne said: “The first time many of us met formally was in the run up to the 30th run in 2010 when we were invited to take part in the ‘In The Long Run’ exhibition at the Great North Museum and also to the official launch of the run.
“We decided it would be a good idea to meet again so, with the help of Nicola Hedley from Nova, about 80 of us got together at the pasta party the day prior to the run - complete with our own cake, which I made, and from this developed our newsletter.”
Since the first meeting, Anne now helps coordinate a regular newsletter that is circulated around everyone with updates on training, injuries and general news.
Anne, who runs every year in her Minnie Mouse costume, is hopeful that the All Runs Club members will be able to gather on September 14, the day before the Great North Run, for a catch-up before the race.
She added: “Most of us meet at the start as we are now given blue and white striped numbers which entitle us to start at the front if we wish.
“We have our own special T-shirt complete with logo designed by Michael Gowland, of Cullercoats, and kindly provided by Nova International.” The ages of club members range from 49 to 82 and finishing times last year ranged from one hour 34 minutes to four hours 33 minutes, with a third of members finishing in under two hours.
Anne, a retired head teacher, said: “We have members from every local authority in the North East region, plus 13 who travel from other areas of England, Scotland and Wales as well as one man who usually travels each year from France where he works.”
On September 15, Anne can once again be seen donning her Minnie Mouse dress with her fellow fancy dress runners in the form of a medieval knight, Stig from Top Gear and Indiana Jones - all of whom will be raising money for Gosforth-based St Oswald’s Hospice.
The first Great North Run was staged on June 28, 1981, when 12,000 runners participated.
Now more than 55,000 runners have been accepted for the Newcastle-South Shields race each year, making it the biggest mass participation run in the UK and one of the biggest running events in the world, and the biggest in the UK.
The event is now part of a weekend of sport in the region which also includes the Bupa Junior & Mini Great North Run for children, the Bupa Great North 5k and the Great North CityGames on the Newcastle and Gateshead quaysides.
Over the course of the last 33 years the event has helped runners raise millions of pounds for charities and worthy ventures, both in the North East and further afield.