Great North Run replaced with virtual race!

Covid-19 continues to have a devastating impact on fundraising events. Sadly, the Great North Run which takes part every September has been cancelled. It is the biggest half marathon event in the UK and the 2020 race was due to be the 40th Great North Run.

However, it's not all doom and gloom! In place of the cancelled event, The Great Run Company have organised 'GNR Virtual' which will take place on Sunday 13 September.

Organisers are working in partnership with app provider ViRACE to create an innovative virtual experience with audio clips so that participants hear the sounds of the Great North Run, providing as close an experience as possible to the real event. From an upbeat warm-up led by the legendary Roy Gayle, to chants of 'OGGY OGGY OGGY', and the iconic roar of the Red Arrows fly-past, organisers hope to make it feel as much like the real event as we can!

The app will mimic a race format so that all runners start their virtual Great North Run at the same time and complete the same 13.1 mile distance.  Runners will be tracked throughout the virtual race and will be able to view results after the race has finished.

How to enter

GNR Virtual will be available to enter free of charge and will be open to everyone, regardless of whether someone had a place in this year’s Great North Run – excellent news if you’ve struggled in the past to get a place.

Entries will open on the Great Run website from 10am on Monday 3 August. The link to enter is here

How will it work?

More information about the app functionality and experience will be provided in the coming weeks.

What do participants get?

Participants will get free access to the race app to enjoy the official Great North Run experience.  As such, finisher mementos will not be included with entry, however a range of merchandise can be purchased within the entry process; this includes: official event medal, t-shirt, hoodie, water bottle, phone holder. The ‘GNR Reimagined’ campaign has been designed to take participants through what would have been their training programme, building up to a grand finale on 13 September (the day the event was due to be held), to ensure that participants are able to follow the GNR journey from start to finish. 

How can I use my GNR entry to support Alopecia UK?

Event organisers have made entry for the GNR Virtual free for participants and are encouraging everyone to fundraise for a charity of their choice. If you sign up for ‘GNR Virtual’, please consider setting up a fundraising page for Alopecia UK. Our charity is losing much-needed fundraising income as a result of Covid-19 and we would be very grateful to have your support right now. Plus, the race takes place in September which is Alopecia Awareness Month. What better time to do some fundraising for AUK?! You can either set up a fundraising page directly on our website here or set up a Justgiving page here.