As part of the 2016 Great North Run, we added some really exciting initiatives to get our vast community of runners talking about the world’s biggest half marathon.

From our own Twitter emoji (Hiya Tyne Bridge!), to a Live Story on Snapchat, we engaged our 57,000+ strong Great North Run audience in exciting new ways this year to really get conversation flowing.

One part of this year’s GNR that we want to shine a light on is a piece of work we, The Great Run Company and FilmNova, produced with a little help from our runners.

In advance of every televised run, we hunt down interesting stories that we can bring to life. These could be someone running with an curious back story, because of their reason to run or if they’re raising money for a charity close to them. 

This year, we had an exciting initiative in place, where we aimed to have a runner from every United Nations member state (193 in total) taking part in the Great North Run and of course, we wanted to showcase these diverse mix of runners as part of our live programme for BBC Sport. 

Knowing that we’d have more runners than ever travelling from all over the world to join us in the North East, was something incredibly exciting and we wanted to reflect in the TV broadcast. However, we knew that capturing these runners wasn’t going to be easy, so we decided that the best solution would be to get runners to self-shoot themselves training in their country of residence and send us the footage. 

Ensuring that we got exactly what we wanted, shot in the correct format and to a good enough standard for broadcast, not to mention the management of potentially a lot of media clips, was going to be tricky. 

This was where Seenit came in. We’d heard of the platform before and after a couple of meetings with the team, we knew that they were a perfect platform for us to use. 

So, after partnering with Seenit, we set about emailing every overseas runner in our database to see if they’d be interested in featuring in the BBC programme, and not surprisingly, we got a pretty good response.

The next step was a major test of whether the project would work or not. We told our runners a bit more about what we were planning to do and asked them to download the Seenit App which would guide them through what we were looking for.

We didn’t have long to wait as app downloads started happening immediately. Having provided tailored briefs and direction, we were soon receiving runners’ videos and before long we had over 250 clips to choose from. 

Once edited together, we were able to produce three short features for use in our BBC One programme, with runners telling us where they were coming from, why they were running and most importantly all filmed in their home locations that depicted the ‘world’ feel of this year’s Great North Run.  Backdrops ranging from Dutch Windmills to the Rocky Steps in Philadelphia to down town Kuala Lumpar, not only showed the millions of viewers watching but also us, the sheer scale of our event. 

The quality of the technical and editorial content we received from the UGC was better than we could have hoped for and this was mainly down to our ability to guide and direct our runners through tailored requests and feedback to them via Seenit. 

Great North Run was once again a magnificent spectacle, enhanced further by runners from 178 countries lining up in Newcastle. Thanks to Seenit, we could tell that story in a way we had never been able to before.