Don’t give up on your Great North Run dream

AJ Bell GNR Ballot open

The wait is over and, sadly, if you’re reading this, it’s likely that you’ve received an email to say you’ve missed out on a ballot place for 2022’s Great North Run.  

We understand you might be feeling deflated, but we’re here to tell you that you can keep your Great North Run dream alive! 

60,000 runners will be lining up on the start line on Sunday 11 September, and a HUGE number of these will be charity runners, i.e. runners who lost out on a ballot place but decided to take up one offered by a charity.  

Every year these incredible charity runners raise around £20 million – yes, £20 MILLION – for worthy organisations and causes close to their hearts – something that, after the last two years, we feel is more important than ever.  

So why not guarantee your place and make a difference at the same time by running for charity?  And if you’re in need of some inspiration, take a look at the list of Great North Run charities here.   

Once your place is confirmed (surely it’s a matter of when not if 😊), you can start your training journey, but don’t worry, we’ve got plenty of help and advice for you along the way – starting right here! 

Step 1 – Get Social 

So what to do first?  Well, once you’ve committed to your charity place, tell the world what you’re doing!  Announce that you’re running using the hashtag #GreatNorthRun and be part of the buzz as thousands of others do the same, sharing their goals and their first sweaty post-training run selfies.  

This is your community – the #GreatNorthRun class of 2022 – and they’ll help motivate you when the miles are long and the hills feel tough.  Take a look at our Strava group, where thousands of Great North Runners already hang out, or tag us in your training posts on Twitter or Instagram.  And make sure you’re following us on all platforms, including Facebook, so we can keep you up to date with all things Great Run-related.  

Step 2 – Get Training 

A training plan is an essential part of your Great North Run journey, helping you build miles, improve your pace and stamina and avoid injuries.  And the good news is that our official training plans cover all abilities, whether you’re planning to run-walk the route or you’re aiming for a new PB.  Have a think about a realistic target and take a look – you’ll also find lots of information and advice on everything from food and drink to our top race day tips over on our Training Advice page. 

Sticking your training plan up somewhere where you’ll see it every day – above the kettle, for example, or on the fridge – sounds like a simple trick, but it’s been proven to help runners stick to their schedule, so why not give it a go?  And if you have any health worries or physical niggles at all, book an appointment to see a sports physio or your GP. 

Step 3 – Practice Makes Perfect 

Booking in one or two events in the build-up can also be a great way to keep you on track.  After all, September can feel like a long way off, and having a date for a 10k in the diary can give you something to aim for in the shorter term. 

If you’ve never taken part in a mass running event before, the sights and sounds of tens or thousands of people running together can come as a bit of a shock, so a warm up race can help you get in the groove.  

There are plenty of races to choose from, but may we recommend taking a look at our very own Great North 10k – not only is it on the doorstep of the Great North Run, but it’s also perfectly positioned in the calendar (3 July 2022).  If you’re travelling to Newcastle from further afield then perhaps another Great Run event might tick the box?  And remember there’s a fun and fast Great North 5k on Friday 9 September – come and kick off your Great North Run weekend in style on the Newcastle Gateshead Quayside! 

Step 4 – Get The Gear 

You don’t need fancy training gear or technology to have a Great North Run to remember. Decent trainers are essential – but beyond that?  Just make sure you’re comfortable and that you’ve trained in the gear you plan to wear on race day.  

However, if you’re looking to celebrate winning your place, then you *could* treat yourself to some official Great North Run training gear.  Our stylish tops, shorts, hoodies, and more (there’s even a bobble hat!) will kickstart your motivation and have you looking the part no matter where your training takes you.  

Step 5 – Get Fundraising 

Keep talking about your fundraising target – to your friends, family, colleagues and social media followers.  Starting your fundraising early gives you the best chance of hitting – and even exceeding – your goal.  And nothing gives you the determination to tick off those training runs – and get round the course on the day itself – like knowing you’re doing it for a worthy cause. 

We can’t wait to see you on the start line. See you in September, Great North Runners! 


Keep your Great North Run dream alive – your journey to the start line begins with a click right here and selecting your charity.  For more information visit the event webpage