The cancellation of the Great North Run, meant that we couldn’t run the famous 13.1 mile route together for the 40th time. It was set to be a landmark occasion and celebration, but our plans and priorities changed like so many others in 2020.

We know how important the Great North Run is for the North East region, our runners, the thousands of spectators & hundreds of volunteers, but most of all the charities. Over £25m is fundraised for good causes each year and the cancellation was set to make things even harder for charities who were already struggling.

So we launched Great North Run Reimagined – a campaign to ensure our runners and charities could still enjoy & benefit from the parts of the Great North Run that we could bring to you virtually.


The GNR Solo challenge was a tough one – 40 runs in 78 days, a run for every year of the Great North Run. The challenge started on 28 June (the birthday of the Great North Run) and finished on 13 September, the day the event was scheduled to be held.

Staggeringly, more than 21,000 people signed up for the challenge, running a total of 2,416,366 miles, and most importantly raising a significant fundraising total for our NHS.



Over 16,000 people took part in the virtual Great North Run. Across 57 countries & 6 continents, runners plotted their own 13.1 mile route and set off to reimagine their race.

With our partners viRACE, we created a virtual experience so that runners could hear the sounds of the Great North Run as they ran their race. We've compiled all of the audio clips from the Virtual Great North Run, so that you can hear the sounds our runners heard during the race.


Listen here




With the Great North Run Reimagined campaign now behind us, we would like to take a moment to celebrate you – our extended GNR family – and thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm during these unprecedented circumstances.

Whether it was wearing your old finisher’s t-shirts, achieving a Silver GNR Solo certificate, or travelling the length of the country for a special birthday surprise, we have been inundated with pictures, videos and stories of your Great North Run Reimagined.

50 Members of the Royal Navy stationed in the Caribbean took part on the ship's deck. Read more>

Runners in 57 countries across six continents created their own Virtual Great North Run. Read more>

A team of nurses from the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle tested themselves with the virtual challenge. Read more>

Volunteers who usually work at the Great North Run got the chance to take part in the virtual event. Read more>


Through the GNR Reimagined campaign, together we raised in the region of £2.5m for charities and £200,000 for our NHS.

By no means could it match the real thing, but it was an opportunity for us to celebrate all that is great about the event and the people who make it even greater.

With thanks from us all – It will certainly be a Great North Run that we won’t forget.