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  • Oliver Hodgson

Great North Run cancelled in their 40th year

Mo Farah competing in the Great North Run PHOTO: Oliver Hodgson

The Great North Run has been cancelled due to COVID-19.

More than 55,000 runners were set to take part in the half-marathon on September 12th, in what would have been the races 40th year.

Organisers have said that they had did not take the decision lightly and had tried to find a way to hold the run, from Newcastle to South Shields, while observing social distancing.

Runners are eligible for refunds or can transfer their entry to next year.

Paul Foster, Chief Executive of The Great Run Company: “We're sorry that we've had to cancel the Great North Run & the Great Manchester Run. We haven't taken the decision lightly. Both events raise huge amounts of money for charity and are important days in the UK's sporting calendar. 

“Over the past few months, we worked hard to try and find a way to stage the events while observing social distancing rules, and most importantly, not impacting on our local NHS. 

“However, as things stand, and even as the situation improves, it's not going to be possible to meet these goals with any certainty, and so we have concluded that the best course of action is to cancel.

“I'd like to thank our partners at Manchester, Newcastle, Gateshead and South Tyneside Councils, and especially our medical teams working in North East NHS Trusts and in the NHS across Greater Manchester for their support in trying to find a way to stage the events this year.”

“Despite not being able to stage the events as planned we are exploring ways to mark the occasion across both regions and hope to be able to share our plans soon.”

All Great Manchester Run entrants will still have the opportunity to receive their medal in the post if they log a run of either 10k or half marathon between now and the weekend of the event (Sunday 6th September). Instructions confirming the medal process will be emailed to them.

Paul Foster continued: “Event day is only a small part of the challenge; our runners put in a huge amount of preparation and training in the weeks and months beforehand. Many others will raise money for a charity close to their heart, and at this time charity donations are probably more important than ever before.

“We want our participants to celebrate their achievement, however, they get there.” 

 Full information is available at and

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