Tyne & Wear

Thousands of runners complete Great North Run

Thousands of runners have completed the 30th Great North Run in the north east of England.

Many of the 54,000 entrants in the famous half marathon were raising money for charity.

Crowds of spectators lined the 13.1-mile route between Newcastle and South Shields.

Record-breaking distance runner Haile Gebrselassie competed for the first time and went on to take the men's title.

The women's race was won by fellow Ethiopian Berhane Adere.

The starting pistol was fired by TV double act Ant and Dec, and celebrity entrants included local X Factor winner Joe McElderry.

Apart from the elite athletes, the majority of entrants were raising money for various charities.

Soap opera stars, the son of the late Sir Bobby Robson and chef Gordon Ramsey were also taking part.

After completing the race, former Labour spin doctor Alistair Campbell said: "I'm very tired with a very sore toe, which has been bleeding since mile three.

"But I'm really chuffed I did it. There's great camaraderie, not just the runners, but the spectators too.

"There's a great mood, even when raining, it's fantastic."

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