Great North Run: Last 100 chances to be one in a million

For the eighth year running The Journal is offering the final 100 places in the iconic Great North Run to our readers

An amateur athlete will this year become the millionth finisher of the Great North Run - and it still could be you.

With 122,000 people applying, 55,900 of the 56,000 places were snapped up months ago.

But fear not if you missed out, as for the eighth year running The Journal is offering the final 100 places in the iconic race to our readers.

“This is a very special year to be taking part in the Great North Run and it’s worth pointing out that every Journal reader who takes up the offer of one of the last 100 places has the chance to be the millionth finisher,” Journal editor Brian Aitken said.

“Once again our Fit Factor finalists are taking part and I’d encourage people to join them.”

The Great North Run this year takes place on Sunday, September 7, when it will become the first mass-participation race to achieve the millionth finisher milestone - and organisers, together with athletics’ world governing body the IAAF, intend to make a fuss of whoever is the landmark finisher.

Organiser Brendan Foster said that last year, as he watched Mo Farah, Kenenisa Bekele and Haile Gebrselassie - three of the all-time great long distance runners - competing in the race he had founded, running past Gateshead Stadium, a venue his vision helped turn into the international venue it is today, he became quite emotional.

But he is preparing to get choked up again this year when the race creates a new hero - one who until they cross the finish line will have no idea it is them.

“Mo and Kenenisa will again get the pre-race billing but on September 7 we will anoint an anonymous hero,” the Olympic bronze medalist and former Commonwealth and European champion said.

“An unknown man or woman will cross the finish line, closer to the back of the field than the front, the computer will go ‘click’ and that person will be told, ‘You’re the millionth finisher’.

“It could be somebody reading The Journal today, oblivious to what the future holds.”

A record number of runners are already taking part, with David Hart, communications director at run organisers Nova International, saying that the event “is not just getting bigger, it’s getting better”.

“The event has a reputation locally, nationally and internationally, and our relationship with The Journal goes as far back as 1981, so it seems fitting that the coveted final places go to its readers.”

To apply for one of our last 100 places, email jnl.newsdesk@ncj media.co.uk with “Great North Run places” as the subject, providing your name, address, phone number, age, occupation and why you believe you deserve one of the last places.

For those who are successful, a £50 registration fee will be payable. You must be 17 or over on the race day.

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