We can’t run the famous 13.1 mile route from Newcastle to South shields this year…  which means you need to plan your own 13.1 mile running route! 
 
If you were thinking about following parts of the usual GNR route, we urge you not to.  Whilst you are free to run any route that you like, you must follow all local regulations with regard to rights of way, traffic, hazards, etc.  The actual Great North Run takes place on closed roads, most of which are not accessible to pedestrians at any other time of the year.  
 
The Virtual Great North Run will be an audio experience and so selecting a route on paths & trails, and away from traffic and roads where possible, is important.  Here are a few tips to help you plan the perfect route for your GNR Virtual experience:
 
1. Be safe
Consider social-distancing guidelines & make sure you’re not going to be running in a crowded area
If wearing headphones make sure the volume level is set low enough so that you are still aware of your surroundings including traffic and other pedestrians
 
2. Make the course that’s right for you
Whether you want to add some hills into the mix, or perhaps plan a looped route, you get to call the shots!
If you’re adding hills & trails to make it that bit harder… make sure you factor in additional water & fuel
A looped course can be repetitive, but it offers the advantage of being able to access food, water or a toilet throughout your race  (see if you can get a family member to help… and cheer you on!)
Out and back routes are popular if you have trouble remembering directions… 
 
3. Use a route planning app 
Apps such as Strava, MapMyRun, OS Maps & Plotaroute.com (there are others too) allow you to find existing running routes – routes that runners near you have completed of a similar distance
You can also use these apps to draw out your own running route & calculate distance
 
4. Do a recce run
Once you have your running route planned, why not walk or run part of the route that you’re unfamiliar with in the days before the race…
 
5. Have fun with it all
This is your race so have fun with the planning process
See if you can get a family member or two to hold a toilet roll finish tape ready for your arrival at the 13.1 mile mark
 
Just as it would be for any training run, it is entirely your responsibility to ensure that your route is safe when taking part in the Virtual Great North Run.
 
We’d love to see your planned GNR Virtual running routes!  Share them with us on social ahead of the big day.