With 200,000 people crossing the finish line across 36 events in 2017, it’s been an unforgettable year for Great Run.
From Aberdeen to Portsmouth, including the brand new addition of two marathon distances, below are 26.2 highlights through a Great Runner’s eyes:
1. Callum’s XCountry Thriller
In January, Callum Hawkins saw victory snatched from his grasp in heartbreaking fashion as Leonard Korir sealed a win in the Simplyhealth Great Edinburgh International XCountry.
2. Blind Dave Heeley Takes on the Great Run Series
Blind Dave Heeley marked his 60th year by taking on Great Run’s entire 2017 events calendar, in aid of the Albion Foundation.
He’s ran over 230 miles in total which is the equivalent of from running from Birmingham to Edinburgh!
3. Dad’s Ireland Run for Alana
Keith Russell melted hearts at the Great Ireland Run when he took on the 10k with while pushing his daughter Alana to raise money for the respite centre where she stays.
4. Commonwealth Run at Birmingham
There was an international flavour at the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10k thanks to the Commonwealth Run, with participants from 23 Commonwealth nations highlighting Birmingham’s bid to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
5. Bobbies on the Run
Police officers from Avon and Somerset Constabulary took running the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k to an extreme in May.
6. First Marathons in Great Run Series
The Great Run Company staged its first British Marathon Series in 2017, with 6,500 runners taking on the Stirling Scottish Marathon in May before over 8,000 took on the Birmingham International Marathon in October.
7. Super Stirling Support
Participants of the Stirling Scottish Marathon were treated to unrivalled on course support from neighboring towns.
The Arcadis Great CityGames Manchester and the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run are two of the highlights of Manchester's sporting calendar, with the new addition of a half marathon distance alongside Europe’s biggest 10k.
This year, following the devastating terror attack in the city in the week leading up to the event, participants came together in an extraordinary act of unity to #RunForManchester
9. Universities Make Waves at Manchester
2017 was a huge year for the 2,500 students from Manchester Metropolitan University and Manchester University who had their own orange and purple wave at the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run.
10. Ella’s 10k for 10 Years
Ella Chadwick set herself a challenge to run 10k in combined kids’ events that started on her 10th birthday at the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great North Run, all in aid of the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Charity.
11. Jo Pavey Joins Families at Newham
2014 European Gold Medalist Jo Pavey joined 10,000 runners at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for the Simplyhealth Great Newham London Run. She also took on the Family Run there.
12. South Shields FC Start Simplyhealth Great North 10k
After winning the FA Vase at Wembley, South Shields FC returned to the North East with the first national trophy in their club’s history to start the Simplyhealth Great North 10k in Gateshead.
13. The First Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run
Thousands of runners took over the streets of Aberdeen in August, as the inaugural Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run was staged.
Participants pounded the pavements of the Granite City in the half marathon and 10k.
14. IAAF World Championships
The Great Run Company were the LOC delivery partner for the marathon and race walks at the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships in August.
15. Simplyhealth Great Run Day
More than 1.5million miles of activity was clocked up on Simplyhealth Great Run Day, an initiative which took place across Simplyhealth Great North Run weekend.
16. Simplyhealth Great North Run’s Most Ever Finishers
The world’s biggest half marathon got even bigger after a record amount of people took part in the Simplyhealth Great North Run, with more than 43,000 runners crossing the start line.
17. When Matt Hadden Met Sir Mo
Sir Mo Farah took time out of his preparation for the Simplyhealth Great North Run to surprise terminally ill Matt Hadden, who took on the event as part of his bucket list.
Matt was the final finisher of the world’s biggest half marathon, with Mo crossing the line first.
18. Davina McCall’s First Half Marathon
TV Presenter Davina McCall was among the famous faces at this year’s Simplyhealth Great North Run.
19. A Bespoke T-shirt for Bristolians
The Affordable Art Fair teamed up with renowned local artist Alex Lucas to create a bespoke design for the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Half Marathon finisher's t-shirt, which was worn by 10,000 runners in the city.
20. The First Simplyhealth Great East Run
The Great Run Company staged the first Simplyhealth Great East Run, in Ipswich in September.
Over 3,000 runners took part in the scenic course which started and finished in the town centre.
21. Superstar Starter Anu
Anu Saha had her leg amputated as a baby but was recognised for her bravery at the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great Birmingham Run, where she started the event and completed the final 200m with her friends and 106-year-old Fauja Singh!
22. Steve Edwards’ 800th Marathon
Steve Edwards set a new world record at the Birmingham International Marathon. He ran his 800th marathon on a successful day for the inaugural event.
23. Two New Simplyhealth Great Wheelchair Events
2017 saw Simplyhealth become the headline sponsor of the Great Run Series and support two new wheelchair events in Newcastle and Portsmouth, aimed to inspire people of all ages and abilities.
24. 100,000 Milestone For Great Run Local
Great Run Local, which offers free weekly 2k and 5k runs, hit a huge milestone this year by having 100,000 runners!
25. Community Heroes
The Bank of Scotland nominated one person from each Scotland’s 32 local authorities for the Community Challenge at the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run 10k, all aimed to get Scotland more active.
26 Business Challenge Blooms
Around 400 companies took part in the Business Challenge across 14 of the Great Run events in 2017. The challenge is designed to get companies and their work forces more active together.
26.1 Inspirational John Jenkins MBE
D-Day War Veteran John Jenkins MBE was among the honorary starters at the Simplyhealth Great South Run in October. 98-year-old John has volunteered at Portsmouth’s D-Day Museum for the last 10 years!
26.2 Claire Lomas’ #10in24
Last but certainly not least, there was not a dry eye in sight when paralysed fundraiser Claire Lomas MBE crossed the finish line of the Simplyhealth Great South Run 24 hours after setting off.
Claire walked the event in a robotic suit, continuing with no sleep until she completed the 10-mile event a day later.