With just weeks before thousands of runners descend on the region for this year’s Bupa Great North Run, final preparations are being made to an enormous sign to mark the event.
This week The Journal revealed how workmen were busy installing an enormous sign on the Tyne Bridge to mark this year’s run, which will see thousands of professional athletes and fun-runners taking to the streets of Newcastle and South Tyneside.
The Bupa Great North Run sign – which is the first to go up on the landmark bridge since last year’s Olympic rings were taken down – is made from aluminum and is powder-coated in blue. And at night it will be lit up with a halo of white LED lights.
It has been commissioned by Nova, organisers of the run, ahead of this year’s race on September 15.
Last night pictures taken by The Journal showed the words “Bupa” and “run” on the bridge.
Work is expected to continue all week, with lanes on the bridge closed to traffic from 8pm.
Bosses at Nova said they expected this year’s event to be one of the best yet.
David Hart, communications director at organisers Nova, said: “We’re looking forward to another incredible weekend of sport in the North East.
“With a record number of participants and a world-class elite field featuring World Champion Mo Farah, the Bupa Great North Run is set to be one of the best yet.
“We’re sure each and every runner will appreciate the amazing support we’ve come to expect from local spectators along the way.
“It all begins on the Saturday with the Bupa Great North 5k, and the Bupa Junior and Mini Great North Run on the Quayside.
“In the afternoon, there will be world-class athletics on the banks of the Tyne at the Great North City Games, which, as always, is completely free to spectate.”
The half-marathon attracted a record number of applications this year, with as many as 122,000 people keen to take part, from whom 54,000 entrants were chosen.
And for the seventh year in a row, The Journal has given away the coveted final 100 places in the race to our readers.
Work on the signs is expected to continue all week, with lanes on the bridge being closed to traffic from 8pm until 5.30am. Diversions are in place over the Redheugh Bridge for oversized traffic.