The Great North Run takes place annually in September and is currently celebrating its 40th year. You can find all information on the Great North Run and answers to the most frequent questions about the Great North Run in our FAQ section below. You can also visit for further information and contact details.

FAQs about the Simplyhealth Great North Run

For FAQs surrounding the cancellation of the Great North Run 2020, please click here.

What is the Great North Run?

The Great North Run is one of the largest sporting events in the UK and one of the biggest races in the world. Taking place annually since its inception in 1981, the race is a half-marathon which starts in the centre of Newcastle Upon Tyne and moves through the neighbouring borough of Gateshead towards South Tyneside. The finish line is located in South Shields on the North East Coast.

When is the Great North Run?

Simplyhealth Great North Run 2020 takes place on Sunday 13th September.

What time does the Great North Run Start?

The Great North Run 2020 starts at 10.00AM. The Elite Wheelchair race sets off at 10.10AM, followed by Elite Women at 10.15AM. The race for general ballot runners and the first wave of Elite Male Athletes officially starts from 10.40AM. General runners will then set off within their allocated wave times.

How Long Is The Great North Run?

The Great North Run is a half-marathon at 13.1 miles (21.08241 km).

Where does the Great North Run start?

The Great North Run begins on the A167 road just outside Newcastle City Centre. The route then follows through the centre of Newcastle Upon Tyne with runners crossing the Tyne Bridge on the Quayside and into Gateshead.

Where does the Great North Run end?

The Great North Run ends in South Shields, located on the North East Coast.

FAQs About Entering the Great North Run

How Do I Enter The Great North Run 2020?

The date for the General Ballot for the 2020 Great North Run is yet to be announced, but normally takes place in early January. Each entrant to the ballot will receive notification of whether or not they have been successful by email. You will need to supply payment details at the time of registration, however you will not be charged the £58 entry fee unless you are successful in the ballot.

Visit the Great Run Company website for further information on how to enter the Great North Run.

What happens if I am not successful in the general ballot for the Great North Run 2020?

Once the ballot closes in February for the 2020 Great North Run, there are still options for entering. If you entered the ballot but received an email to say you were unsucessful, there are also further options available. In both instances, you can still enter to run on behalf of a charity of your choice. 

Can Wheelchair users participate in the Great North Run?

Yes, wheelchair users can participate in the Great North Run. Great Run accepts non-elite wheelchair participants at all events, assisted or self-propelled. The organisers ask wheelchair entrants to self-identify on entry so they can give them the best possible experience on the day.

Running For A Charity

To raise money for a charity of your choice, you can choose from a list of brilliant charities sponsoring this years’ Great North Run. If there is a charity not on the list which you would like to support, we suggest contacting the charity directly and asking if they would be willing to sponsor you.

Which charities are involved with the Great North Run?

There are a number of charities involved with this years’ Great North Run, including MacMillan Cancer Support, Cancer Research UK, Alzheimer’s Society, MS Society, Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, Oxfam, Guide Dogs, British Heart Foundation, The Stroke Association, Mind, NSPCC, Cancer Research UK. Each of these charities will have cheering points along the route of the run. You can look through a top 10 list of charities and choose which one you’d like to be involved with by visiting their webpages directly for more information.

How Can I Enter the Great North Run Next Year?

The general ballot for the Great North Run usually opens every year in early January, with the deadline closing in the following February. You must register, fill out an application online and submit before the allocated deadline in February to participate in the 40th Great North Run Event which will take place in 2020. You will then be notified whether your application was successful in mid-February. We recommend you follow social media channels including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for up to date information so you do not miss out!

Information For Runners

What to do if my submission details are incorrect?

If you have provided the incorrect address or made a mistake with the details on your application form, we advise contacting the Great Run Company directly to amend these. Forward your query to  with your requested amendments at least six to ten weeks before the event to ensure that your Great North Run Race Entry Pack is sent to the right place.

How do I receive my Great North Run Race Entry Pack?

The Great North Run Race Entry Packs are sent to successful candidates up to four weeks before the event takes place. This Race Pack should contain your Race Number and Timing Chip which will give an accurate reading of your race time. If you do not receive your race pack as expected, you will need to contact to verify your entry and receive details on collecting a race pack at the event itself.

If you’re running on behalf of a charity then it will be the charities responsibility to send out the runners packs prior to the race, the sending of which will be depended on the charity. If you require more information about your race pack then we suggest that you get in touch with your chosen charity.

How do I withdraw my entry to the Great North Run?

Entry fees for all successful candidates in the Great North Run are non-refundable unless supported by a doctor’s note. You will need to contact the Great Run Customer Service Team directly via email or post with a copy of your doctor’s note and a covering letter to request withdrawal.

You must notify the Great Run Company at least ten weeks prior to the event to ensure that your refund is received and that your race pack is not sent out. A £5.00 GBP administration charge applies to all refunds and withdrawn entries cannot be re-submitted. Contact for further details on withdrawing your entry.

How do I know which zone or wave I will be running in?

Your start time and wave allocation will be based on the estimated running time stated on your entry form. Information will be sent through with your Great North Run Race Entry Pack to tell you which zone and wave you will be part of and where the assembly points are on the day. The race number you receive alongside its colour and letter will determine which zone you are in and your Great North Run wave start time.

Can I change which Great North Run zone or wave I am running in?

There is no guarantee that runners with the same running time will be running in the same wave but if you wish to move down to a slower wave, for example to run with friends or family, you will simply need to assemble in a later wave on the day without having to notify anyone. If you wish to move into a faster wave, you will need to contact the Great Run Company directly for further details and advice as you cannot move up a wave i.e. nearer the starting line.

Information For Spectators

Where can I stand to watch the Great North Run?

Friends, family and general spectators can watch the Great North Run from several points along the 13.1 mile route including the Tyne Bridge and the finish line at South Shields. There are also allocated cheering points for charities.

When will the run be televised?

The BBC will televise the Great North Run coverage on Sunday 8th September from 09.30AM until 1.30 PM. Highlights will be covered later in the day as well as general coverage appearing across a number of local news channels.

Which roads will be closed for the Great North Run?

There will be several road closures the day before The Great North Run and during the event including A167 Central Motorway where the run starts as well as the Tyne Bridge.

Where can I see pictures from the Great North Run?

Pictures from the Great North Run will be posted on the Great Run Company website up to 24 hours following the event. You can also see images from past runs via The Chronicle website, our History of The Great North Run archive and across social media.

What events will be taking place on Great North Run Weekend?

The Great Run Company, Newcastle City Council, Gateshead Council and South Tyneside Council will be confirming details of activities and events for the Great North Run Weekend closer to the date of the event itself. The Red Arrows, who perform their air show at the Great North Run every year, will display around 1.15 PM.

You can find information of events from last year on our Great North Run Weekend page. You may also be interested in browsing our What’s On and Thing To Do pages for ideas on exploring the Newcastle and Gateshead area.

FAQs About Travel, Training and Preparation

When should I start training for the Great North Run?

It is advisory to start training for the Great North Run at least 15 weeks before the event. May is a great time to start training for the run as the weather is much fairer for outdoor running.

Find out how to Train and Prepare for the Great North Run.

How Should I prepare for the Great North Run?

Aside from training, you should ensure that you drink plenty of water and eat an appropriate carbohydrate heavy meal the day before the run to give you plenty energy. You can find more about what to eat before for the Great North Run on our Training Page.

Another good way to prepare for the Great North Run is to research the route and find out which points you can use for restroom breaks, where you can pick up or refill water bottles and if there are any sports drinks or energy gels provided as part of the race so that you can decide whether to pack your own to refuel.

It is also a good idea to consider the terrain so you can prepare your body and adjust your pace for any steep inclines on the run as well as researching the weather forecast for an idea on what clothing you will need to bring.

What clothing should I wear for the Great North Run?

The clothing you will need for the run will largely depend on weather conditions and what you feel comfortable in. All good sports shops and running boutiques will sell basic kit such as shorts, leggings, vests and T-shirts which can be used for running; these are usually made from breathable, synthetic materials designed to wick away sweat whilst also keeping you warm on colder days.

Layering is advisable if the weather looks wet, windy or cold with a waterproof outer layer such as a windbreaker or reflective running jacket with pockets for storing personal belongings and re-fuelling snacks. You will also need to clearly pin your runner’s number to the front and back of your top.

A comfortable and supportive pair of running shoes are an absolute must so make sure you find a pair suitable for your needs several weeks before the event.

Find out more information on preparing for the Great North Run on our Training Page.

Visiting the North East for the Great North Run

Travelling to the North East

You can travel to the North East by air, bus, car, or train using our excellent connecting transport services. Direct rail services run to Newcastle Central Station via LNER ( London North Eastern Railway), Northern Rail, TransPennine Express and Grand Central Trains. Megabus or tour bus services also run to several central points within Newcastle and Gateshead town centres and can be booked online.

If arriving by air, you can travel to Newcastle International Airport from most domestic and international destinations. The airport is located around 8 miles from the city centre and is connected directly to Newcastle City Centre and Gateshead via the Metro Train System. Trains run regularly with a journey time of 20-30 minutes.  Car parking, car hire and taxis can be booked from within the airport or prior to arrival.

Find out more about travelling and Plan Your Visit.

Additional LNER trains have been added to the timetable especially for Great North Run participants and spectators visiting Newcastle for the race.

  • 07.30 Durham to Newcastle (arriving at 07.45)
  • 07.20 Darlington to Newcastle (arriving at 07.53)
  • 06.55 York to Newcastle (arriving at 08.08)
  • 07.51 Darlington to Newcastle (arriving at 08.25)
  • 05.55 Leeds to Newcastle (arriving at 08.29)
  • 07.00 Edinburgh to Newcastle (arriving at 08.53)

Travelling around the Great North Run Route

Many of the points along the Great North Run Route are accessible via the North East Metro service. Stations including Haymarket, Central Station and Monument within the City Centre can be accessed near the beginning of the route, whilst Gateshead Stadium, Felling, Heworth, Pelaw, Bede, Chichester and South Shields Metro are located along the track should you wish to travel to watch runners at any of the designated cheering points or to wait at the finish line. There will be some designated parking available surrounding these points but much of this will be limited on the day and may be problematic due to road closures so we advise planning your travel in advance.

Accommodation and Staying in Newcastle for the Great North Run

There are plenty of fantastic places to stay in the North East if you are visiting for the Great North Run. Whether you want somewhere cheap and cheerful or a luxury location to unwind after the race, you can find a full list of all the hotels, B&B’s and Hostels in the North East area via our Accommodation Information. Book in advance and you can choose from locations directly within Newcastle or Gateshead City Centre, more relaxed rooms available in the surrounding areas of Jesmond, Heaton and Gosforth or you can head up to the Coast or Countryside to make the most of your trip.

What To Do On The Day  - Great North Run Event

Where do I go on the day of the Great North Run?

On the day of the run, you will be required to go to the starting point located on the A167 no later than 9.30AM in order to reach your starting zone in time. Details of your starting point including which zone you will be in and your wave start time will be provided in your Great North Run Runners Pack. You will also need to bring your Great North Run tracker which can be applied to your shoe laces in order to accurately track your running time. It is advisable to arrive early to avoid traffic that might occur due to road closures and to fully prepare for your run as well as enjoying the atmosphere at the starting line.

Will there be Medical and Facility points along the route?

The Great North Run route is fully equipped with points for restroom breaks as well as Medical points just in case there are any minor accidents or injuries during the event. This also includes Runners Welfare Pick Up Points. You can find toilets for both men and women located at the Starting Line, the Finish Line and at four more points along the course around the Three, Six, Eight and Ten Mile Markers.  There will also be Drinks Stations to collect or top up water bottles to stay hydrated during the race.

What happens when I finish the race?

Once you have reached the finish line, you will be required to hand in your Great North Run tracker so that your race time can be logged accurately. You will also be provided with a Great North Run Finishing Pack. This should include a Great North Run Medal, t-shirt, a drink and a space blanket to keep warm. The packs are sorted by size (S, M, L) so you will need to take the size asked for on your entry form. From here you can meet any friends or family.

How do I check my results and finishing time?

The chip you were provided with in your Runner’s Pack should have successfully and accurately logged your pace and finishing time. These will later be published on the Great Run Website:

You can find your Great North Run stats online by selecting the drop down menu for the Great North Run 2020, and enter your race number or surname. If you have problems locating your results, please contact the Great Run Company directly.