The move meant the loss of the race’s dramatic finish along The Leas in South Shields.
But as well as disappointing runners and spectators, it was also a bitter blow for hospitality businesses in South Tyneside already battered by the pandemic, for whom Great North Run is usually a bumper weekend.
Organisers said the changes, which also included runners setting off in waves rather than at the same time, would reduce crowding and the volume of passengers on public transport.
And now, as the ballot for 2022 places opens on Monday, January 10, organisers seem sure the race will return to its original end point on Sunday, September 11, 2022, with some 57,000 runners taking part.
The entry website reads: “After two long years, we can’t wait to see runners back on the iconic Great North Run, city to sea course, in September.
"We’ll be celebrating the return of our traditional finish line in South Shields and we hope you’ll be able to join us.”
Organisers go on to reference runners’ happy memories of South Shields, including the seafront finish and the free beer handed out on John Reid Road by the Newcastle Hash House Harriers.
“Whether you missed your free in-run pint (we heard this might be a thing), the incredible local support, your post-race fish and chips or just ‘that’ view as you reach the final mile, you’ll be able to soak it all in, once again, in September,” they said.
In further reassurance, Sir Brendan will join runners and South Tyneside dignitaries at an official launch event for the ballot near the site of the Great North Run finish line at South Shields seafront today.