Great North Run chiefs urge people to make a rush for places deadline

A shot from last year's Simplyhealth Great North Run.
A shot from last year's Simplyhealth Great North Run.

The general entry ballot for the Simplyhealth Great North Run, closes soon - with runners urged to get their applications in before the deadline to avoid missing out.

The annual spectacular, which this year will be staged for the 38th time, will take place on Sunday, September 9.

More than a million people have completed the 13.1-mile distance from Newcastle to South Shields since it was first staged in 1981.

Interest in the event - the world's biggest half - marathon is as high as ever, with thousands already entering the general entry ballot, which closes at noon on Monday.

Last year saw a record amount of finishers in the world-famous half marathon, with 43,127 runners of all abilities crossing the finish line on the South Shields coast, which was won by Sir Mo Farah for the fourth consecutive year.

Doug Ross, from Belmont, near Durham, has taken part in every single Simplyhealth Great North Run and is looking forward to his 38th event this September.

The 62-year-old said: "I continue to enjoy the atmosphere created by this regional, national and indeed internationally-acclaimed event.

"I return to the run each year because as a diabetic it provides me with a goal for which I train all year and this helps control the condition as exercise is a significant factor in maintaining good heath if you have diabetes.

"I also enjoy running not only with those simply enjoying themselves but also being part of an event where my running heroes take part, such as Mike McLeod and Sir Mo Farah."

The Simplyhealth Great North Run is part of a weekend of events which also features the iconic Great North CityGames, the Great North 5k plus the Junior and Mini Great North Runs.

In 2018, The Simplyhealth Great North Run will form part of the finale of next year's 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.

To register for the ballot prospective applicants should visit www.greatrun.org.

The ballot will close noon on Monday, February 5, with all applicants being notified by email no later than Friday 9 February.