Great North Run places up for grabs as half marathon's ballot opens for 40th anniversary race

It’s time to stake your claim to a place in the 2020 Great North Run.

Monday, 6th January 2020, 12:02 am

The general entry ballot for the world’s biggest half marathon opens today, Monday, January 6.

The annual event will add another epic milestone to its rich history when it is staged for the 40th time on Sunday, September 13, having been the first event of its kind to welcome home one million finishers back in 2014.

First held in 1981 with 12,000 runners, the iconic half marathon has grown to accept 57,000 entries a year from all over the world and has becopme a mainstay of the North East calendar, with more than 200,000 supporters estimated to line the route from the centre of Newcastle to the coast at South Shields.

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Last year's winner Sir Mo Farah celebrates with finish line spectators
Last year's winner Sir Mo Farah celebrates with finish line spectators

The 40th Great North Run - GNR40 - will be a celebration of this landmark staging and the people and places that have made the event great.

Last year saw Sir Mo Farah continue his running streak with an impressive sixth win in a row, while Brigid Kosgei became the fastest female over the half marathon distance of all-time, followed across the finish line by runners of all abilities conquering their own personal challenges, with many helping to raise £15million for good causes around the world.

The Great North Run remains the main focus of a major sporting weekend, with whole host of exciting new activities and experiences planned to celebrate the 40th staging, including a specially commissioned film charting the history of the event.

The Great North 5k will kick off this huge celebration of running in the North East, with the ever-popular Junior and Mini Great North Run transforming the Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside into a sea of runners.

Sir Mo Farah takes the tape at last year's run

The Great North Run will again be broadcast live on BBC Television for four hours.

To register for the Great North Run ballot visit www.greatrun.org/north.

The ballot will close at 9pm on Sunday, February 9, with all applicants being notified of whether or not they have been successful by email no later than Friday, February 14.

Runners cross the line at last year's Great North Run