Wearsiders tell of their pride after taking part in Great North Run

Michael Williamson as Tweety and Antony Green as Sylvester.

Michael Williamson as Tweety and Antony Green as Sylvester.

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Thousands pounded the streets as the world’s biggest half-marathon returned to the region.

Over 50,000 people took part in the Great North Run between Newcastle and South Shields.

Sunderland Olympian Alyson Dixon

Sunderland Olympian Alyson Dixon

Olympic legend Mo Farah again wowed the crowds with a superb display, winning the men’s race.

To many, though, it is the charity and fun runners who really make the event what it is, and they were out in force once again as thousands of pounds were raised for good causes.

Among them were friends Michael Williamson, 32, and Antony Green, 35, from Washington.

Michael was dressed as cartoon character Tweety, and Antony was Sylvester.

It was really difficult from the nine-mile point onwards, but the crowd was amazing, especially on the seafront

Joe Coon

The pair were raising money for the Stroke Association.

Michael said: “We’ve done it for seven years.

“One of our best mates, John-Lee Lydon, was affected by a stroke five years ago, when he was only 32.

“We’ve done it for him and his charity.”

Antony said: “It went really well, especially in this heat.

“We do a lot of running, and we are both health and fitness professionals.”

Joe Coon, 28, from Ashbrooke, Sunderland, was taking part in his first Great North Run, and completed the course in 1 hour, 44 minutes.

He said: “I really enjoyed it.

“It was really difficult from the nine-mile point onwards, but the crowd was amazing, especially on the seafront.

“It was especially hard running down the bank towards the end, but the pain was totally worth it because of the feeling you get at the end.

“I did it for fitness, and next I want to do a marathon, possibly in Edinburgh.”

Rob Murray, 23, from Doxford Park, completed the run in 1 hour, 55 minutes.

It was the electrician’s first Great North Run, and he was raising money for Cancer Research UK.

He said: “It was hard.

“I hadn’t really done much training.

“Next time I’ll do a bit more work, to hopefully get a better time.”

Meanwhile, Sunderland Olympian Alyson Dixon was also among those who took part.

She said: “It was absolutely great.

“It was nothing fast for me, but the aim was to go out there, enjoy it, celebrate the North East and say thank you for the years of support they have given me.

“The final mile was absolutely fantastic and I was high-fiving people so much that my hand hurt!

“It was a really enjoyable race.”