Great North Run 2018 entry ballot open

Sir Mo Farah won last year's race. Pic: PA.
Sir Mo Farah won last year's race. Pic: PA.

The race for places in the world’s biggest half marathon begins today.

The general entry ballot for the Great North Run is now open.

The event will take place on Sunday, September 9, with tens of thousands of people set to tackle the 13.1-mile course between Newcastle and South Shields.

Last year, a record 43,127 runners crossed the finish line, including quadruple Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah, who became the first runner to win four Great North Runs in a row.

To register for the ballot, visit www.greatrun.org. It closes on Monday, February 5 and applicants will be notified whether they have been successful by email no later than Friday, February 9.

This year will see the race staged for the 38th time, with more than a million people having completed it since it was first staged in 1981.

Last year’s event saw £18.6million raised for good causes from the race, with more than two-thirds of finishers raising money for charities.

The race is the highlight of a weekend which also features the Great North CityGames, the Great North 5k and the Junior and Mini Great North Runs.

Sir Mo’s success in last year’s half marathon helped him win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

He is among a glittering list of names to have triumphed in the race in the past, including Haile Gebrselassie, Paula Radcliffe, Liz McColgan, Derartu Tulu and Kenenisa Bekele.

This year, the Great North Run will form part of the finale of the Great Exhibition of the North.

The event will be the centrepiece of the exhibition’s final weekend in September.

The exhibition will showcase the best of art, culture, design and innovation across the Northern Powerhouse.