32nd Bupa Great North Run deadline looming

RUNNERS who want to take part in the North East’s most famous sporting event have just two more days to enter.

The Great North Run 19 September 2010 - The 2010

RUNNERS who want to take part in the North East’s most famous sporting event have just two more days to enter.

The entry ballot for the 32nd Bupa Great North Run closes at midday on Monday.

Nearly 100,000 people have already applied to take part in the half marathon, which this year will take place on Sunday, September 16.

Applications have been received already from as far afield as Australia, Bermuda, the United States and Canada.

The 2012 run from Newcastle to South Shields will be the first major mass participation running event to be staged following the Olympic Games in London.

The half-marathon attracted a record number of applications last year, with more than 100,000 people applying to take part, from whom 54,000 entrants were chosen.

Every postcode region in the country was represented on the start line and an estimated £30m was raised by runners for hundreds of charities.

Brendan Foster, chairman of organisers Nova International, said: “It’s amazing to think that the local fun run we planned back in 1981 has become a global event.

“But the heart of the Bupa Great North Run is its regional identity and we are particularly delighted that nearly half of all applications received are from people living in the North East.”

The run will be the highlight of a busy weekend in the North East, with the Bupa Junior and Mini Great North Runs, along with the Great CityGames, being staged on the Saturday.

With live TV coverage across Europe and highlights broadcast across the world, the run has become synonymous with the North East.

And the sight of the Red Arrows flying over a Tyne Bridge full of runners has become one of the most iconic in sport.

Last year, The Journal, together with Nova International, launched a campaign to improve health in the North East and combat the region’s position as the second most obese region in Europe.

The Great North Fitness Revolution is encouraging as many people as possible to make even small improvements to their lifestyles.

As part of this initiative, The Journal is urging as many readers as possible to put their names forward for this year’s Great North Run.

Runners must be aged 17 or over on the date of the event and prospective entrants should register their details at www.greatrun.org

All successful and unsuccessful applicants will be informed of their status on or before February 10.

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