Page last updated at 05:55 GMT, Monday, 6 October 2008 06:55 UK

Thousands finish Great North Run

Runners cross Tyne Bridge
A record 52,000 runners are taking part in the half marathon

Tens of thousands of people have completed the 28th annual Great North Run on Tyneside.

A record 52,000 runners were set on their way when former prime minister Tony Blair and three Beijing gold medallists sounded starting hooters.

Some 30,000 spectators lined the route, between Newcastle and South Shields, to cheer on the participants.

This year's half-marathon runners are raising an estimated 10m for local and national charities.

Mr Blair was joined by Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington, Olympic cyclist Chris Hoy and Paralympian swimmer Ellie Simmons.

Celebrity runners

The former prime minister congratulated race founder Brendan Foster on making the event a success.

He said: "Brendan has done the most amazing job and the Great North Run is now one of the big events worldwide.

"There are thousands of people running and I think they are going to raise about 10m for charity, which is utterly incredible."

Celebrity runners included model Nell McAndrew, Apprentice winner Lee McQueen and former champion jockey Richard Dunwoody.

Ethiopia's Gete Wami claimed victory in the elite women's race as Britain's Jo Pavey finished in third place.

Tsegay Kebede made it a double triumph for Ethiopia as he won the men's race with a dominant display.

Pavey third as Wami seals victory
05 Oct 08 |  Athletics


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