Coronavirus: Great North Run goes virtual on 40th anniversary – BBC News

Coronavirus: Great North Run goes virtual on 40th anniversary  BBC News

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption A record 60,000 runners were set to take part in the 40th anniversary of the run

Alternative plans to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Great North Run have been announced by the organisers.

A record 60,000 runners were due to take part in the half-marathon from Newcastle to South Shields on 13 September before it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Would-be competitors are challenged to complete 40 runs by that date, while raising money for charity.

And on what would have been the day of the race there will be a virtual event.

Organisers said the aim was to “create an experience as close as possible to the real thing”.

Great North Run Solo costs £10 to join, with profits going to the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal, and involves 40 runs – one for each year of the event.

Those taking part can run any pace or distance they are comfortable with, and everyone who completes the challenge will receive a special edition medal.

Organisers are also currently working on the Official Virtual Great North Run experience to allow everyone to get a taste of what it is like to take part in the real thing.

Paul Foster, chief executive of the Great Run Company, said: “The Great North Run is an important day in the calendar for the North East for competitors, spectators and many others, but in particular for charities.

“Through runners’ blood, sweat and tears over £25m is raised for charity each year.

“With runners’ help and through the Great North Run Reimagined campaign, we’re hoping to still help all our charity partners raise a significant fundraising total.”

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