Organisers of the Great North Run have announced that general ballot entry for the race, scheduled for Sunday 11 September, is now open. With the event regarded as the world’s largest half marathon and entries far outweighing places available, prospective runners are being advised to register their interest through the ballot system, which closes on Monday 8 February.
Starting in Newcastle, the course takes in the iconic Tyne Bridge, goes through Gateshead passing the famous international athletics stadium and finishes in the coastal town of South Shields. The race now regularly attracts upwards of 50,000 runners to the region.
Last year’s event went to form with Mo Farah and Mary Keitany triumphant. In a terrific contest Farah had Kenyan Stanley Biwott on his tail for much of the race yet kicked over the last hundred metres to secure victory in 59:22, two seconds ahead of Biwott.
In the women’s competition, Keitany secured her title defence in confident fashion, securing first in 1:07:32, with Britain’s Gemma Steel once again putting in an impressive showing to take second in 1:11:00. Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia took third with 1:11:52 while Britain’s Alyson Dixon was fifth in 1:12:07.
The Great North Run will be the highlight of a spectacular weekend in the region which also features the Great North CityGames, the Great North 5K plus the Junior and Mini Great North Runs.
To register for the ballot, visit the event website here. All applicants will be notified by Thursday 11 February.