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GNR Million Opening Ceremony

The Great North Run Million Opening Ceremony started the countdown to the millionth finish of the Bupa Great North Run in spectacular style!

With Ant and Dec welcoming the crowds, international athletics royalty lined up to pay homage to the world's favourite half-marathon, including Mo Farrah, Haile Gebrselassie, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Mike McLeod, and Paula Radcliffe. 

A sell-out crowd on the banks of Newcastle and Gateshead witnessed the spectacular telling of the epic tale of the North East - a story of creativity, inspiration and ingenuity. Devised by Bradley Hemmings and written by David Almond, the Great North Run Million Opening Ceremony was narrated by Jill Halfpenny and Tim Healy and featured live music from live music from Sting, Mark Knopfler, The Unthanks and Chase & Status.

Enormous projections by Tal Rosner onto The Sage Gateshead provided a breathtaking backdrop for fireworks, pyrotechnics, aerial performances, boats on the Tyne, performances from Lords of Lightning, a cast of hundreds, and a giant running woman, aflame as she heads towards the millionth finish...

Designed by Jon Bausor and with music composed by Dan Jones and played by the Royal Northern Sinfonia,The Great North Run MIllion Opening Ceremony celebrated ordinary people working together to achieve extraordinary things, all inspired by the energy of a million runners power Tyneside's past and future.


Funders and partners

Funded by:
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Related Events

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Great North Run Million Opening Ceremony

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