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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 September 2007, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK
Thousands finish Great North Run
Great North Run: runners cross the Tyne Bridge
Sir Bobby Robson fired the starting pistol
Tens of thousands of people have completed the 27th annual Great North Run on Tyneside.

About 50,000 runners took part in the famous half-marathon between Newcastle and South Shields.

An estimated 30,000 spectators lined the 13.1 mile route to cheer participants to the finish.

Former Newcastle United and England manager Sir Bobby Robson fired the starting pistol for what is Europe's biggest road race.

Sir Bobby, speaking before the race, said: "This is part of the sporting fabric of the North East.

Celebrity runners

"It is a special day and the fantastic thing is the runners make millions and millions of pounds for charity."

Up to 350 charities were represented at this year's race.

England football coach Steve McClaren ran the event to raise cash for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Celebrities who took part included TV presenters Carol Vorderman and Ben Fogle, and Olympic rowing champion James Cracknell.

In the elite women's race, American Kara Goucher triumphed over second placed Paula Radcliffe, who was returning to competition for the first time in 21 months.

London Marathon winner Martin Lel burst clear of fellow Kenyan and world half-marathon record holder Sammy Wanjiru to win the men's race by eight seconds.

Medical back-up

In the wheelchair races South African Ernst Van Dyk beat Kurt Fearnley of Canada, while Britain's Shelly Woods cruised to victory ahead of Italian Francesca Porcellato in the women's event.

The mass runners started the race at 1040 BST.

About 500 medics were positioned along the route to tend to the weary runners.

The medical back-up included consultants and cardiac specialists.

Extra public transport was laid on for the race and several roads were closed.


SEE ALSO
Sir Bobby starts Great North Run
25 Sep 07 |  England
McClaren to compete in Great Run
31 May 07 |  England

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