FUN runners will join celebrities and elite athletes in the 32nd staging of the Great North Run.
A record number of runners are expected to take part in tomorrow’s race from Newcastle to South Shields.
Among them will be keen runner and children’s author Terry Deary, who is supporting County Durham-based charity Integrating Children.
The X Factor and Popstar to Opera star winner Joe McElderry is running on behalf of the Teenage Cancer Trust, while Sky’s Philippa Tomson, Tyne Tees TV’s Kenny Toal, ESPN’s Ray Stubbs and BBC presenter Sophie Raworth will also take part.
Cancer Research has several celebrities taking part, including model and presenter Nell McAndrew and Sunderland boxer Tony Jeffries.
The Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain team will raise money for Cancer Research UK and Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.
Past award winners will be joined by James Argent from The Only Way is Essex, Coronation Street’s John Michie, Emmerdale’s Tom Lister, John Middleton and Tony Audenshaw and Tom Scurr and James Atherton from Hollyoaks.
John Michie said: “I’m proud to be running for the Pride of Britain team and joining these past winners on the run. They are such an inspiration and remind us all what makes this country so great. That thought will certainly help get me to the finishing line.” Also running will be former Newcastle United player and assistant manager Terry McDermott’s daughter Rachel, raising funds for the Sick Children’s Trust with colleagues from the Entrepreneurs’ Forum.
Rachel raised around £1,200, with the bulk coming from players at Birmingham City Football Club, where her father is assistant manager.
She said: “People expect me to be sporty because of my dad, and I did do cross country at school, but I’ve never done a half marathon before.
“I’ve done some training, though it’s probably not enough, but I think the atmosphere will be brilliant and I’m looking forward to getting out there.”
Among the runners who will raise an estimated £20m for good causes is Robbie Newton, who lost his daughter Emma in a freak tragedy last year and is now also mourning the death of his father.
Bobby Newton, 74,of Hexham, died two weeks ago as Robbie, of Lowgate, was training hard for the half-marathon.
He is to run alongside Kate Wilkinson of Kirkwhelpington, who in 2009 lost her husband Geoffrey and teenage daughter Victoria in a boating accident on Kielder Water.