Musician Sting will return to Newcastle on Sunday to act as an honorary starter of the 2009 Bupa Great North Run. He will be joined by cricketer Steve Harmison, who was part of the England Ashes winning team this summer.
The pair will be setting a record 54,000 runners, many of them Scottish, on their way in the 29th staging of the world's biggest and most prestigious half marathon.
Sting is looking forward to the occasion. "The Great North Run is a real success story for the region, I'm delighted to have been given the honour of firing the starter's gun at such a wonderful event."
Durham and England cricketer Steve Harmison, who as a child took part in the Junior Great North Run, is also eagerly anticipating the occasion. He said, "It's been a great summer. Winning the Ashes and the County Championship, and now starting the Bupa Great North Run with none other than Sting. Fantastic!"
Brendan Foster, Chairman of organisers Nova International, said "It's a huge privilege for us to be able to welcome Sting and Steve Harmison to the Bupa Great North Run and I am certain that they will enjoy a great reception from our record field of runners".
The Bupa Great North Run will be televised live on Sunday morning on BBC ONE from 09.30 until 13.30, with a live programme also on BBC Radio 5 Live. On the preceding day the first Great North CityGames, between England and Australia, will take place on the NewcastleGateshead Quayside along with the Bupa Junior and Mini Great North Run, in which 5,000 children will take part.