When is the Great North Run 2021? Date of GNR, start time, route map, road closures - and race distance

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, is running this year’s Great North Run in support of Leeds Rhinos great Rob Burrow

The final countdown to the Great North Run has begun.

No fewer than 57,000 determined and dedicated entrants will embark on Newcastle over the weekend for one of the most popular events of the running calendar.

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Billed as the world’s "biggest and best half marathon", organisers are hoping to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the race a year on from when they initially planned.

The GNR, like so many other races in 2020, held a virtual event due to the Covid pandemic - but runners will be back on the streets of Newcastle this time around in 2021.

The Great North Run is more than 13.1 miles, and has become renowned for its friendly atmosphere, encouraging crowds and raising funds for worthwhile causes.

Here’s a look at when the Great North Run will take place in 2021, start times and route.

When is the Great North Run?

In 2021, the Great North Run is scheduled to take place on Sunday 12 September.

What time does the Great North Run start?

Unlike the traditional mass start, there will be staggered start times at the Great North Run 2021 for all those taking part in the event.

Organisers say that "waves will be set off in a steady flow to help regulate the number of runners through the start and around the course".

  • 9.15am: Elite Wheelchair and visually impaired start time
  • 9.20am: Elite Women start time
  • 9.45am: Elite Men and Orange Wave start time
  • 11.05am: White Wave start time
  • 12.25pm: Green Wave start time

How long is the Great North Run?

The Great North Run is known in the running universe as the UK’s largest half marathon event.

The race itself is 13.1 miles in distance - half the distance of a full marathon, which is 26.2 miles.

Great North Run 2021 route map

For the first time in 40 years, the route of the Great North Run has changed so that participants will cross the Tyne Bridge twice - meaning the race will start and finish in Newcastle.

The finish line is expected to return to South Shields in 2022.

What roads are closed for the Great North Run 2021?

Roads closed from 8pm on Saturday 11 September to 8pm on Sunday 12 September:

  • A167 (CME) – from a point 200 metres west of Cowhill Interchange to its junction with Great North Road.

Roads closed from 7am to 8pm on Sunday 12 September:

  • Great North Road – between its junctions with Grandstand Road and Barras Bridge.
  • Forsyth Road – between its junctions with Great North Road and Highbury.
  • Clayton Road – between its junctions with Great North Road and Abbotsford Terrace.

Roads closed from 7am to 6pm on Sunday 12 September:

  • A167 CME) – from its junction with Great North Road to Tyne Bridge.
  • Jesmond Road (A1058) – between its junctions with A167(M) and Osborne Road.
  • Claremont Road – between its junctions with Queen Victoria Road and Barras Bridge.
  • Barras Bridge – for its entire length.
  • Percy Street – from its junction with St Mary’s Place in a southerly direction for a distance of 75 metres.
  • St Mary’s Place – between its junctions with Percy Street and College Street.
  • John Dobson Street – for its entire length.
  • Durant Road (Saville Place) – from its junction with John Dobson Street in an easterly direction for a distance of 40 metres.
  • Market Street – for its entire length.
  • Tyne Bridge – for its entire length within Newcastle City boundary.
  • New Bridge Street West – between its junctions with John Dobson Street and Pilgrim Street.
  • Blackett Street - for its entire length.
  • Pilgrim Street – between its junctions with Blackett Street and Shakespeare Street.
  • Hood Street – for its entire length.
  • Grey Street – between its junctions with Blackett Street and Shakespeare Street.
  • Grainger Street – between its junctions with Blackett Street and Nelson Street.

Roads closed from 6.45am to 2.30pm on Sunday 12 September:

  • Claremont Road – between Grandstand Road and Queen Victoria Road.
  • Hunters Road – between its junctions with Claremont Road and Sheraton Street.

For the duration of the GNR the following ‘No Right Turn’ restrictions will be suspended:

  • Percy Street into Gallowgate.
  • The Close into Swing Bridge.

How to defer entry to Great North Run

Runners can submit a deferment request to race organisers via the Great North Run website if they are unable to take part in 2021.