Great North Run 2023: how to enter and other information

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| 5 min read Charity

The Great North Run is the biggest half-marathon event in the UK. 

Starting in Newcastle city centre and finishing with a coastal seaside view in South Shields, the race has been going for more than 40 years and sees thousands of people compete every year. 

Olympian Sir Mo Farah has won the race a staggering six times and the half-marathon has seen a host of famous faces take part before. 

Sir Mo has announced the 2023 event will be his last time taking part. 

There are no longer any ballot places available for this year’s Great North Run, but charity places are still available.

How to enter the Great North Run 2023

Each year the Great North Run sees hundreds of thousands of people eager to take part and lace up their running shoes to compete. 

There are several ways to enter the race and if you’re not lucky enough to get a ballot place, don’t despair, as there are other routes into competing. 

Ballot entry

Ahead of ballot entries getting announced, runners who would like to take part in the Great North Run are asked to fill in a form on the Great North Run website. 

You are asked to fill in basic details as well as give an indication of how quickly you think you can complete the race. 

It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time or if you’re a seasoned runner. 

The ballot is closed for this year’s race, but it usually opens up at the same time every year in January or February. 

Charity places

If you’re unable to qualify for a ballot place, don’t lose faith. 

There’s an opportunity to get a charity place and in most circumstances you can choose which charity you want to raise money for.

MIND, Cancer Research, Blood Cancer UK and many other charities offer runners the chance to take part in the Great North Run, provided you can raise funds for charity. 

Some of these charity places involve a fundraising pledge, where you agree to try and raise a certain amount. This can vary from £250 to £450. 

Some of these charities also ask that people pay an entry fee, which is usually around £50. 

There’s many benefits in running for a charity – it means you get to take part in the event and raising funds for a cause you’re passionate about is a great motivator. 

The route

The route begins in the centre of Newcastle and sees runners go over different sights of the north east of England. 

Famous images of the route can be seen as people cross the Tyne Bridge with the Red Arrows flying ahead, as the streets surrounding these areas are lined with live music, supporters and spectators. 

After making your way through Newcastle city centre, you then arrive into Gateshead and follow a fairly flat route towards Jarrow and South Shields. 

The final stretch of the route is where the race shines though, as runners have a view of the stunning seaside and finish parallel to the beach. 

Ending on the coast, there’s then a special runner’s village for athletes to go and relax and have a well-earned rest in. 

What to expect on race day

Whether it’s your first time taking part or you’re a repeat runner, directions and guidance on the day is very clear and there are scores of volunteers on-hand to help out. 

Runners are separated into different coloured groups, based on what time they estimate they can finish the race, and they are gathered in their groupings to set off together in staggered times. 

The energy is high during this wait point, as there are DJs playing music to crowds, local radio stations interviewing runners and camera crews capturing the atmosphere before the race. 

Typically runners are asked to gather at about 10am, but this all depends on your wave colour and start time. 

A warm-up then usually takes place to get everyone pumped for the event. 

Once it’s your time to go, you set off and are able to wave to crowds of people along the sidelines and any supporters you want to bring along. 

The route and the start time is available to look at ahead of the event too. 

If you’re running for a charity, there’s often a chance to see a bus or volunteers for the charity you’re running for. 

There’s also a chance to go to the toilet before and there is lots of water on-hand for those running. 

Start a GoFundMe for your Great North Run

GoFundMe is the ideal platform to use if you’re fundraising for the event. 

You can select a charity from our list of charities when starting a fundraiser in a quick and easy way. 

There’s no minimum fundraising requirement to do this and funds are delivered automatically, 100% of Gift Aid goes directly to charity.

Once you’re set up you can share with your friends and family easily to try and increase donations. 

As well as this, you can provide engaging updates on your fundraiser to let supporters know how your training is going.

Written by dina