Mike, no idea of price but I think easy jet fly Bristol/Newcastle, there's hotels at the airport, a premier inn at Callerton Parkway and one of those French F1 hotels at Kingston Park - all on Metro line that will also take you direct to Newcastle (Haymarket) for the start.
Fiona J - Kevin Bell in Jesmond is a fantastic sports physio, he was a physio at NUFC and is really focussed on keeping you doing sport. I managed to damage my back in August last year, to the extent I couldn't sit, stand or walk without pain and Kevin had me running again in time for the GNR.
JJ8 - If I were you I'd park at a Metro station on the Sunderland - Newcastle - Airport line, catch the Metro to the start (I caught one at 09:20 this year from East Boldon Metro Station), gets you to the start for around 10:05. Then you return on the Metro from South Shields, change at Pelaw back on to the Sunderland - Newcastle line (the Green one on the Metro map) and you're back at your car and better still clear of all of the post run trafic and straight on to the A19 or A1 south.