Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Great North Run: weather warning as storms forecast - BBC News

More than 55,000 runners are preparing to take part in what forecasters are predicting could be one of the wettest Great North Runs ever.

World 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu and England cricketer Graeme Swann are to start the Sunday morning event, which is now in its 33rd year.

But forecasters are warning of torrential rain and potentially gale force winds throughout the day.

Thousands in fancy dress will run the 13.1-mile course for charity.

BBC Look North weather presenter Hannah Bayman said: "It's likely to be a wet and windy day for runners, with strong westerly winds driving in spells of rain, heavy at times.

"As the wind is blowing from the west, at least it will be a tailwind, roughly blowing you on your way to South Shields from Newcastle.

"It will feel cool too, with highs of 12C (54F) for much of the race, feeling colder because of the wind chill."

Double world and Olympic champion Mo Farah will be aiming to win the men's event against a world-class field including Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele, while London 2012 Paralympic sensation David Weir is favourite for the wheelchair race.

British athlete Gemma Steel will be taking part in the race, from Newcastle to South Shields, alongside other elite female runners including the Ethiopian pair of Tirunesh Dibaba and Meseret Defar.

From just 12,000 runners at the first run in 1981, the event has now grown to more than 55,000 accepted entrants from more than 100,000 applicants.

The first race of the day starts at 10:10 BST with the main race due to begin at 10:40.

The Bupa Great North Run will be live on BBC One and BBC One HD on Sunday morning from 09:30 with a highlights programme at 16:50 on BBC Two. BBC Tyne and Wear will also have live updates between 08:00 and 16:00.

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