Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Race Museum Plan Is off and Running

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Race Museum Plan Is off and Running

Article excerpt

Byline: By Daniel Thomson

Great North Run founder Brendan Foster last night announced plans to build a permanent venue celebrating the inspirational event on the eve of the first ever Hall of Fame dinner.

Tonight, a star-studded gala evening will mark the inaugural Great North Run Hall of Fame as seven outstanding individuals who have made a unique contribution to the event are honoured at Gateshead's Hilton Hotel.

But the former Olympic medal winner, who has been the driving force behind the event since it was founded 27 years ago, said the dinner was just the beginning of a new era for the world's biggest half marathon.

Mr Foster, who is also managing director of Great North Run organisers Nova International, yesterday said plans were under way to create a "museum" featuring a permanent Hall of Fame and collection of memorabilia.

He said: "Our plan is to establish a permanent Hall of Fame, like a museum, which will celebrate the history of the event and the stories of the individuals.

"It will also provide a home for all the Great North Run memorabilia and will grow as the event gets even bigger over the next 25 years.

"Serious discussions are taking place at the moment as we finalise the details, but it is very exciting. We hope to build it at a site on the route of the Great North Run."

Brendan added that he could never have imagined a Hall of Fame dinner taking place when he first dreamed up the idea for the event in 1981. He said: "It wasn't even in our consciousness. The biggest event of its kind when we started out had about 1,300 participants.

"Our first year we had 11,000, which meant in one fell swoop we had become the biggest. It was amazing and it has just got bigger every year since.

"It was a regional event when it first started, but quickly grew to have national and international significance. …

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