What a day! We've been out and about in Newcastle spreading some joy this Friday. Five lucky runners will now be joining thousands on the start line on Sunday 9 September for the world's biggest half marathon. Check out who won our 5 VIP places below.

If you've been inspired and want to take part in 2018, the general ballot is open to everyone until Monday 5 February so there's plenty of time to get your name in the hat. You'll find out if you've been successful on or before Friday 9 February.

If you follow our Simplyhealth Great North Run Facebook page we'll be running a competition all weekend for one other lucky person to win a VIP place into this year's event. GOOD LUCK!

Location 1 -  Millenium Bridge

Our first winner of the day was Mark from Seaton Delaval. He answered the question: "In which year was the Great North Run first staged?". The correct answer of course being 1981. Mark even quoted the date, 28th June! He knows his stuff. This will be his first time running the Simplyhealth Great North Run. Good luck with the training Mark!

Location 2 - High Level Bridge

Our second clue was "Near to where the Red Arrows fly, you'll be feeling the runners' High".

Our question: "In which year did we see our millionth finisher cross the finish line at South Shields?". The answer was 2014.

We were met by John who sprinted across the High Level Bridge from his office in his suit. A keen runner, but also first-timer on the start line at Simplyhealth Great North Run. See you in September Jonny!

Location 3 - Haymarket Metro Station

Our third lucky winner, and fastest to arrive at our location was Phil from Cramlington. Our clue: "The Great North Run journey can start at a black and yellow sign. At the top of the busiest street and above a line."

The question: "What is the famous chant you shout when you run under the Central Motorway underpass?" The answer, of course is Oggy Oggy Oggy, Oi Oi Oi! 

Phil ran the half marathon last year and will be back again for 2018 but with some VIP privileges!

Location 4 - St James' Park

This was a close call as we had two people race to our location! We went to a tie-breaker question which was: "What was the percentage of men that took part in the first ever Great North Run?" The answer was 89%. Charlotte from Gateshead was closest so claimed victory!

This will be Charlotte's 5th Great North Run. Well done! 

Location 5 - Times Square

Our final location was located in the corner of Times Square. The question was: "What year did the local legends Ant and Dec start the Great North Run?". The answer was 2010.

Graeme was our final lucky winner of the day. Just casually waiting for the bus, checked his Twitter and thought he'd have a wander round to see if anyone had claimed the place. He was in the right place at the right time!

Congratulations to all our winners today and thank you to everyone who played along online! To enter the Simplyhealth Great North Run ballot click here