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BBC Sport has extended its current deal for to cover the Bupa Great Run series until 2018.

The deal includes live coverage of the Great North Run, the world’s biggest half marathon, and the Great Manchester Run.

Coverage of the Great Edinburgh Cross-County competition and the Great City Games, staged in both Newcastle and Manchester, are also included in the deal.

“These events celebrate elite long distance athletics and inspire thousands of amateur runners,” said BBC director of sport Barbara Slater.

The 2012 Great North Run takes places on Sunday 16th September, and will be screened exclusively live on BBC One.

This latest contract extension adds to the corporation’s recent sports rights renewals, which include US Masters golf (until 2014), The Open Championship (until 2016), Wimbledon and Six Nations rugby (until 2017), World Athletics Championships (for 2015 and 2017) and the London Marathon until 2018.

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