Over one million people have completed the Great North Run since the event launched in 1981, with a record-breaking 43,656 people crossing the finish line last year, including Sir Mo Farah who claimed a fifth win in a row at the event.
So with such an enormous number of runners every year it must be easy to get a place in the race, right? Don’t be fooled. Such is the popularity of the Great North Run that you have to enter a ballot and cross your fingers if you want to run the half marathon.
The 2019 lottery is open now until noon on Monday 4th February, with the results of the draw announced by email on Friday 8th February.
Enter the ballot on the Great North Run website, where you will be required to give payment details for the £56 race entry, but this will only be taken from your account if you are awarded a spot.
If you enter the draw but later realise you can’t run the race on Sunday 8th September for any reason (hey, it happens to the best of us), you can email the Great Run team ([email protected]) to let them know you’d like to be withdrawn from the ballot. Naturally, you’ll need to do this before the ballot closes and the draw process begins.
There are a couple of other ways to take part in the Great North Run if you aren’t drawn in the ballot. The first is to run for a good cause. You can apply for a charity place by checking the website for the full list of organisations that have places in the race.
Missing out on a place in the Great North Run is always a bit of a downer, since it’s a race with a truly unique atmosphere, but it’s worth remembering there are plenty of other epic half marathons you can run in the UK in 2019.
There are two excellent half marathons taking place a week after the Great North Run if you do miss out in the ballot. In London the Richmond RUNFEST features a half marathon along with a 10K and a full marathon, and there’s also the Great Bristol Run to consider on the 15th September. And if you’re dead set on heading north for the weekend you can sign up for the Great North 5K instead of the half marathon, which takes place in Newcastle the day before the main event, with a scenic course that runs along the banks of the Tyne.