1hr 25mins

What began as an idea, captured the imagination of a region, and went on to become the biggest half marathon in the world.

GREAT NORTH: A Run, A River, A Region tells the story of the Great North Run in the context of the changing social, cultural and industrial landscape of the North East. A lot has changed since 1981, but like the Run itself, the region keeps moving forward.

Paul Middleton

40 years ago, the first Great North Run was born when a line was drawn in red on a map. It started in Newcastle, and followed the River Tyne until it reached the sea at South Shields. No-one could have guessed how popular it would become, that over one million people would eventually take part, and how it much it would come to mean to the region.

Over those 40 years, so much around the event has changed. Industry, community, politics – but the run remains an ever constant, still following the river to the sea.

The film connects the experiences of real runners with incredible archive footage that brings those memories to life. Narrated by award winning local actress Gina McKee, it also includes interviews with local legends including; Sam Fender, Alan Shearer and Ant & Dec.

The project, funded by a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant, will shine a light on the region, its places and people, through the story of the Great North Run.

It is a hard story at times, but ultimately, it’s a story about the strength of community and the hope for a new future for the North East.

For further information about GNR40 Heritage and how to share your own memories of the Great North Run, visit our website here

This film contains flashing lights which might affect customers who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy.


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