Runner welfare will be central to decision on 2020 Great North Run

The team behind Great North run have updated the public surrounding the 2020 race (13 September).

Deciding on the plans for this year’s event has been a challenging task, and the team have been following government advice, as well as medical and planning teams and key stakeholders.

Organisers stressed that they were reading all their followers’ emails and comments on social media, and have taken suggestions onboard.

“We’re aware that the latest government guidelines indicate that social distancing will remain part of our lives for quite some time, and this obviously impacts the form that mass participation events will be able to take,” a spokesman for Great North Run said.

“Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as making a quick decision to postpone or cancel and we are working in close consultation with our medical, planning teams and all key stakeholders whilst following the latest advice from the UK government.”

This year’s Great North Run was due to be the 40th race. Since the first race in 1981 more than 1.2 million people have taken part, making it the world’s biggest half marathon.

“We want to ensure that we take our time to get this right as any decision hugely impacts our charity partners and the economic impact to the region,” added the spokesman.

“But central to the run is the runners, so please know that your welfare will be central to our thinking and decisions, and that we will keep you informed.

“We’re aware that you may have travel and accommodation decisions to consider, as well as training and fundraising plans; as such we will endeavour to make a decision with our stakeholders about the staging of the event in good time”

This year the team has supported the 2.6 campaign and helped raise over £10 million for hundreds of UK charities. They also launched their #GreatRunSolo initiative, with more than 2,500 people taking part in week one, raising £20,000 for the NHS Charities Together COVID-19 Urgent Appeal.

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