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Runner taking part in Great North Run dies

The Great North Run passed with elation and tragedy after the news of a competitor's death followed a record-breaking run by Mo Farah.

Britain's biggest race was won for a second year in a row by the Olympic and World champion in a time of 59 minutes and 22 seconds, making it the fastest half-marathon by a British athlete.

But the death of a runner was later announced by race organisers, who said they deeply regretted the loss of life.

A spokesman said: "The Great Run Company deeply regrets the loss of life of a participant at the Great North Run today and offer our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of the individual.

"In the case of a fatality, there are procedures laid down that we adhere to with the professional organisations. Our priority is to ensure the next of kin are informed and we are not in a position to comment further today."

Further information about the cause of death has yet to be released.

On a warm September day, around 57,000 people made their way through the streets of Newcastle, over the Tyne Bridge into Gateshead and then out to South Shields on the coast.

Britain also enjoyed further success with David Weir winning the men's wheelchair race and Shelly Woods taking the women's wheelchair crown.

Kenya's Mary Keitany won the women's elite race in a time of 1hr 7min and 32 seconds.

Some of the celebrity names taking part included Professor Brian Cox, Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell, TV presenter Steph McGovern and former footballer Kevin Kilbane.

Last year it became the first mass participation run in the world to have its one millionth competitor cross the line.

It is expected around £25 million will be raised by those taking part for charity, with many people wearing fancy dress and even a marching band taking part.

An estimated 300,000 bottles of water were handed out to the runners and 38 buses were used to transport kit from the start to the finish.

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck was unable to finish the race after she fell and broke her ankle.

The Labour politician tweeted: "Thanks for the well wishes today, I fell and broke my ankle - sorry not to pass finish line in lovely Shields. Well done to all."

She said it had been put in a cast and she was unable to put pressure on it.


From Belfast Telegraph