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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 September, 2004, 10:54 GMT 11:54 UK
Great North Run attracts 50,000
Kelly Holmes
Olympic medallist Kelly Holmes started the Great North Run
The city of Newcastle came to a standstill on Sunday as almost 50,000 runners took to the streets for the annual Great North Run.

The half-marathon is one of the biggest in the world, with fun runners and athletes taking part in the race.

The men's race was won by Dejene Berhanu - the first Ethiopian to win the Great North Run - while Australia's Benita Johnson won the women's race.

Many runners are raising millions of pounds for hundreds of charities.

'Fantastic atmosphere'

The first run took place on 28 June, 1981, with 12,000 runners - now the race is so popular that thousands of people are unable to gain an entry.

The Great North Run started at the Town Moor in Newcastle, ending at South Shields in South Tyneside.

Olympic double gold medallist Kelly Holmes fired the gun to start the main race, after romping to victory in the Great North Mile on Saturday.
Wheelchair race start
The competitors in the wheelchair race start the event

Olympic rowing champion Matthew Pinsent is taking part in the run for the third time.

Other celebrity participants included Charlie Dimmock of BBC garden makeover show Ground Force, chef Gordon Ramsey and jockey Richard Dunwoody.

Charlie Dimmock, who completed the London Marathon two years ago, was running to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis.

She said ahead of the race: "The atmosphere is fantastic - I can't believe how many people are here. I am running with a group of about 300 who are raising money for Cystic Fibrosis."

In Pictures: Great North Run
26 Sep 04  |  In Pictures
Berhanu wins Great North
26 Sep 04  |  Athletics
Ramaala targets Great North
15 Sep 04  |  Other Sports
Radcliffe smashes record in run
21 Sep 03  |  Tyne/Wear


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