Great North Run 2021: Is it on TV? How can I watch? What is the route?

It’s a big anniversary for the world’s largest half-marathon.

The Great North Run celebrates it’s 40th edition this year, with Newcastle and Gateshead gearing up to welcome thousands of runners to the North East over the weekend.

The hugely popular event was cancelled last year as a consequence of the Coronavirus pandemic, but returns on Sunday – albeit with some alterations to the usual proceedings.

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We’ve gathered all the information you need to know, including how to watch along at home, below…

Runners cross the Tyne Bridge during the Great North Run. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

When is the Great North Run?

The Great North Run will take place on Sunday September 12th.

As a response to the Coronavirus pandemic, organisers have decided to forego the usual mass start, and runners will instead set off in designated waves.

The elite women’s race will begin at 9.20, with the elite men and orange wave setting off at 9.45.

Great North Run route 2021.

The white wave will start their race at 11.05, and the green wave will set off at 12.25.

How can I watch the Great North Run? Is it on TV?

Coverage of the Great North Run will be spread across the BBC on Sunday.

Viewers can tune in to BBC Two at 9am to catch the first part of the action, before switching over to BBC One at 10am, where the coverage continues until 1.30pm.

What is the route?

For the first time in its history, the Great North Run will not finish in South Shields.

Instead, the 57,000 expected participants will start and end the race in Newcastle, crossing the Tyne Bridge twice.

The start line, as always, will be located on the central motorway in Newcastle. The route then passes into Gateshead and continues along the A184.

Runners will turn around and head back just beyond the Leam Lane roundabout.

On the return leg, the route snakes through the city centre, before finishing on the Great North Road.

A finishers’ village will be constructed on the Town Moor. The distance remains 13.1 miles.

On the alterations, Great North Run Chief Executive Paul Foster said: “By changing the route and adapting the timetable we can reduce the crowds at the event and on public transport, minimising the risk of transmission of Covid.

"In turn this creates a more resilient event plan and helps to ensure that the race will go ahead on September 12th.

"These changes are a direct response to the pandemic, and we look forward to returning to South Shields next year.”