UNITED Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has praised the Great North Run, describing the half marathon as a ‘true celebration of humanity, commitment and personal achievement'.
The Great North Run will feature participants from 178 UN member states on Sunday, more than any other running event in history, as part of its Great World Run campaign.
And, in a message sent to the Great Run Company, organisers of the world's biggest half marathon, he passed on his best wishes to all 57,000 participants in the 13.1-mile event between Newcastle and South Shields, which will be staged for the 36th time on Sunday 11th September.
The message reads: “It is a great pleasure to send my best wishes to all the participants in the Great North Run, which epitomises the power of sport to bring people together. “
Calling the Great North Run a ‘truly global celebration', Mr Ban added: “Every runner's experience is unique, but the finishing line symbolizes for all the culmination of hard work and determination.
“Communal activities and sports are good for people, communities and society as a whole. They can make an important contribution to development and peace.
“The Great North Run is an example of how sport empowers, motivates and inspires. It does all this while raising money for many worthwhile causes.
“The Great North Run is a true celebration of humanity, commitment and personal achievement.
“In a culture that loves to celebrate winners, this event makes winners of all its participants.
“I celebrate you all, and wish you the best of luck.”
- The Great North Run is broadcast on BBC One from 9.30am to 1.30pm, with a highlights show on BBC Two at 6pm.