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Celebrities support the 2009 Bupa North Great Run

21st September 2009

The 2009 Bupa Great North Run was the biggest ever with a host of celebrities supporting good causes.

Sting and England Ashes hero, the fast bowler Steve Harmison fired the starting pistols and for Sting, it was the first time he had ever held a gun.

Other celebrities included adventurer and TV personality Ben Fogle, Olympic Gold Medalist James Cracknell, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey and his wife Tana, model Nell McAndrew in a pink wig, Eastenders stars Kara Tointon and Joe Swash, as well as teams from Emmerdale, Coronation Street and Blue Peter.

The first Great North Run took place in 1981 with 12,000 runners.  A record 54,000 took part in this year's half marathon from Newcastle to South Shields with over 32,000 spectators.  It is the world's biggest half marathon.

The first celebrity to cross the finishing line was James Cracknell who finished 19 minutes behind the winner Martin Lei.  Former world half-marathon champion Martin has had to pull out of the London marathon in April due to a hip injury.

The Red Arrows added to the spectacle, flying overhead and pointing the way.

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