The Great North Run
On our blog series so far, we’ve had a little bit of everything; Fit4Change is, after all, big on variety and choice! We’ve so far had running events, cycling, and a little bit of hiking too. We’ve travelled across the UK: running through London, cycling the highlands of Scotland, and also hiking the beautiful coastlines of our islands. More recently, there has also been some opportunity for adventure abroad. But, while the World Cup roars and reverberates across the vastness of Russia, we thought it would be nice to look at an event a little closer to home for this month’s blog post. Indeed, if you’ve been watching the World Cup games so far, you’ll have noticed the relentless efforts of the participating nations. If all that running has inspired you, and if you are interested in a new challenge for charity fundraising, then this is most certainly the blog post for you.
The Great North Run
This month’s focus event is The Great North Run, a half-marathon that takes place in the North-East of England. While our last marathon focus event, The London Marathon, is most certainly world famous and an all-round massive occasion, The Great North Run does hold its own claim to fame in being the largest half marathon event in the world.
The Great North Run takes place annually in September and runs from the city centre of Newcastle all the way through to South Shields. The course sees participants cross the Tyne Bridge, and later travel down the seafront in South Shields running along the North Sea coastline. In total, runners will complete a tricky, but scenic 13.1-mile route. It is also not the only run of its type, as The Great North Run is part of a series of different Great Run events that take place across the United Kingdom.
How did it begin?
The London Marathon was mentioned earlier as a comparison, and there is quite a natural connection between the marathon and The Great North Run. The most immediately obvious connection is that they are both distance running events, largely taking place in an urban space, but they also share the same birth year. Just like The London Marathon, The Great North Run was first held in 1981 (clearly quite a momentous year for British Running). While the early events took place in June, they have since been moved to a regular September place.
The Great North Run was also inspired by a similar event occurring abroad, sound familiar? The former Olympic bronze-medallist Brendan Foster, after participating in the Round the Bays Race in New Zealand, decided to attempt a similar event in his home country. The first event in 1981 attracted 12,000 runners, and it now regularly receives over three times the number.
The Great North Run Today.
The 2018 Great North Run will be taking place on Sunday the 9th of September. The event will be broadcasted live on the BBC, and participants entering will have the opportunity to run alongside world famous athletes such as Mo Farah, who has been the Men’s Race winner for the past four years running, and Mary Keitany, the Women’s Race winner for three of the past four years.
The Great North Run nowadays, like many marathon events, is also a major charity fundraising event. If you look through the charities sponsored and involved, you’ll notice that not only is the list massive, but also full of some very progressive and fantastic causes. Names such as Mind, Cancer Research UK, Bloodwise, the NSPCC, and as a continuation of last month’s blog post, the British Heart Foundation are also a charity that are represented.
Fit4Change and The Great North Run.
In previous blog posts, we have discussed numerous ways in which you can engage with charity fundraising events while supplementing your efforts using our Fit4Change app on your mobile. These tend to vary from using our fundraising app while participating in the event itself, in the lead-up to it, or using the offers tab to raise funds as part of your preparation. In this month’s post however, we would like to focus more on the spectator side of the fence in honour of the world’s largest sporting spectator event currently taking place in Russia. Indeed, spectators play a huge role in raising the profile of sporting events, and also tend to raise a lot of money for charitable causes. Not only can spectators at The Great North Run, of course, fundraise and donate using our app in the regular fashion, but they can also get involved by being at the event, or even by watching it on TV from home. That sounds counter-intuitive, but it is made possible through the use of offers via our app. For example, a person can research the charities being supported by the likes of participants such as Farah and Keitany, and raise funds by engaging with the many available offers via our app. As always, we at Fit4Change want to ultimately put the fundraising process firmly in your hands, to shape it to best suit you, so that you can raise cash for the causes that matter most to you.
It is, unfortunately, now too late for applications for this year’s Great North Run. However, if you should be interested in participating then please do visit their website to find out more information. Alternatively, as we have mentioned, you can also get involved by turning up on the day to support the runners in their arduous endeavour.
If you should decide to enter as a participant for the 2019 event, or turn up as a spectator for 2018, then we hope that you take a photo of the occasion and raise the profile of the event further.
Whether you run, walk, or cycle, fundraise for free with Fit4Change.