The Great North Run

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The World’s Favourite Half Marathon

Andy Garthwaite GNR


The Great North Run is the world’s favourite half marathon. Each year over 56,000 runners take part, raising over £25 million for different charities. Running from Central Newcastle, through Gateshead to finish in South Shields, the Great North Run is a truly iconic event.

The video above was produced for the Great North Run 2021 (which, following cancellation in 2020, was the event’s 40th anniversary). It gives a flavour of the event’s fantastic atmosphere, and the importance it holds for the people of Tyneside.

Run for The Soldiers’ Charity

Run for ABFOur charity has 75 guaranteed places to join Team ABF in this incredible event. Our places cost £30.00 each (a non-refundable deposit) with a fundraising agreement for an additional £300.00. In return, we will provide you with support for your fundraising and one of our fantastic running vests (you will be sent a voucher code for this following successful registration).

If you would like to register to run for us, please click on the Register Now tab above (or use the button at the bottom of the page). Team ABF places are normally over-subscribed, so act fast if you want to take part!ABF Running Vest

Run with #TeamABF

Great North Run Collage

Great North Run Ballot Places

If you were lucky enough to secure your own ballot place, please consider using it to raise money for our charity. There is no fundraising target attached if you have your own place, and you will still get the same support as you would do if running with one of our own places, including a free running vest. If you would like to do so, please register here.

Mark Hill“I have always wanted to run the Great North Run; when ABF The Soldiers’ Charity said they had a few places left I jumped at the chance. ABF provided me with the opportunity to take part in this famous half marathon, inspiring and motivating me to train and get fit. It was an honour and privilege to promote and raise funds for the charity.” (Mark, 2021 Great North Runner)

Fundraising Support

The most effective way to fundraise is via the integrated Enthuse online platform. Following registration, you will be guided through the set up of your personalised fundraising page. All eligible donations made this way will automatically add Gift Aid (if a UK taxpayer), therefore increasing each donation by 25%. We can also provide forms for offline donations and help with additional fundraising ideas. If you would prefer to use another online platform, such as Just Giving, we can guide you through the process. We are here to help!

Hazel B“Running the GNR21, was a bucket list challenge for me. The event has an electric atmosphere, where everyone is behind you the whole way. Arriving at the brow of a hill, and seeing the ABF flags on the pass-over was certainly a much needed morale boost. Hearing shouts of encouragement from Barney and Amy, was incredibly emotional, giving me the extra boost I needed. I was extremely proud to wear the ABF vest, whilst doing my bit to raise money and awareness for such a worthwhile and respected charity. GNR22 here I come!” (Hazel, 2021 Great North Runner)


While the Great North Run is a fun event, it is important to train. We have included a number of tips to get you started – just click on the Training Tips tab above for more.

There are numerous guides available, such as this informative article from Runner’s World.

On the Day

The Soldiers’ Charity will be there to cheer you along the route, with our main cheering station on the Coast Road in South Shields.

Unfortunately, we will not have a presence in the Charity Village (we believe that the extra money this would cost would be better-spent in support of our charitable work) but we’ll be able to easily spot you in our amazing running vests!

ABF Cheering Point
The sun always shines on the Great North Run (fingers crossed)!

Terms and Conditions

We try to keep our Terms and Conditions as simple as possible, but we do have a responsibility to protect the interests of the Charity, and you. If you have any queries regarding these Terms and Conditions please do email us. Please click on the Terms and Conditions tab above for full details; an electronic copy will also be emailed to you along with your registration confirmation.

Great North Run Complete!

All of our runners will receive a personalised Certificate of Achievement which will record your race time.

GNR Certificate

Scott GNR 21

“The reason I run was to support the ABF . I was very fortunate in my service I didn’t have to access any support mechanism such as the ABF.

I have always been keen to support charities like the ABF .  I have always striven to support and help in any way I can.

So as long as I am upright and breathing I will support the ABF”. (Sam, 2021 Great North Runner)

Covid 19 Monitoring

The Great North Run is a third party event and we are in constant communication with the Great Run Company (the event organiser) to ensure the safety of all runners, responsive to any current guidance and direction regarding Covid 19.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the Great North Run, contact us via email or phone on 01748 874127.

Your Privacy Matters

Of course, we will need to communicate with you about this event, after that it is up to you. The application form allows you to choose how (or if) we communicate with you in the future. We value your privacy; our full privacy statement can be found here.

The Route

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After two years of Covid uncertainty, the Great North Run is planning to return to its original route, starting in Central Newcastle, running through Gateshead and finishing on the Coast Road in South Shields. It is a pretty fantastic route lined with cheering spectators.

GNR Route 2022
Great North Run 2022 Route (with proposed cheering points)

We aim to have at least two cheering points (dependent upon the availability of volunteers):

  • On the A184 (Felling Bypass) just beyond the Heworth Interchange; there is a metal footbridge that crosses the dual carriageway at this point – please look up!
  • On the A183 (Coast Road) between the 12 mile point and finish.

If your supporters are near any of our cheering points, please come along and say hello! Please click on the Volunteering tab above for more details about volunteering opportunities.

GNR Cheering 1GNR Cheering 2GNR Cheering 3

If you would like to see the route first hand, watch this time-lapsed video from 2015’s Great North Run:

Register now via Enthuse!

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You will be taken through the simple secure registration process using the Enthuse platform, including seamlessly setting up your fundraising page. Simply click on the Register Now link below, or click on this link.

Once you have successfully registered, you will receive a confirmation email which will include a fundraising pack and an electronic copy of the Terms and Conditions. Shortly after, you will be sent a voucher code to get your free charity running vest; you may also claim a free eco-wristband and eco-pen.

If you have any problems with registering, please get in touch with our North East Regional Office by email.

Great North Run Ballot Places

If you were lucky enough to secure your own ballot place, please consider using it to raise money for our charity. There is no fundraising target attached if you have your own place, and you will still get the same support as you would do if running with one of our own places (including a running vest). If you would like to do so, please register here.

Training Tips

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The advice below was kindly provided by Yolanda @ YoFit Canicross

Feet Running

Find your start point

Effective training begins with making sure you are following the correct training plan for you. Your starting point will depend upon your previous experiences, your current fitness level and also your work and family commitments. It is essential you start from where you are now and build up gradually. Be realistic about your starting point, if you take on too much, too soon, it will become unmanageable, your body will break down and you’ll open yourself up to risk of injury.

Training tips

Building up

Even if you come from a good level of fitness, trying to build-up too quickly will certainly get you injured. Running is a repetitive activity that involves your foot hitting the floor repeatedly with considerable force.

The reason why experienced runners can handle such high levels of training is because they have taken years to get there. Your body adapts slowly to new stresses and a product of regular running is that your bones will harden and become more resilient to the new forces. So fit people beware: your engine (heart & lungs) may find it easy – but after a while your legs won’t.

Woman Stretching

Rest and repair

Rest days are essential, the natural thought is that you get better when you train hard. While that is not altogether untrue, the reality is that your body actually gets fitter while you are resting. During hard exercise, your body gets tired, waste products build up and energy levels fall as you have used up fuel – you are technically less able than before you started training!

If you continued the same level of activity over several days you would become progressively more tired and eventually you will breakdown – either with injury or illness. However, when you stop and rest your body starts to repair the damage, which it will do to a higher level than before as the body recognises a need to adapt to the new stresses that you’re subjecting it to.


A regular training pattern is more important than any one session. There is a cumulative effect from training regularly which is not achieved by doing all your training on one or two days each week.


Your training is done to encourage physiological changes in your body – one of these is the ability to use different forms of energy. The most efficient energy source is glycogen – basically a sugar stored in the muscles. This will last for about 1 ½ hrs of fairly rigorous exercise – like running.

After that has gone the body learns to use fat for energy – which we all have a big supply of. The problem is that the body does not convert fat to energy very efficiently, although it can be improved by doing runs over 1 ½ hrs.


A healthy diet and fluid intake are essential. Your body burns carbohydrate for the energy you need to make the muscles move, it also needs protein to help it recover from the damage done by hard exercise and it needs vitamins and minerals to maintain its health. So what you need is a good balanced diet. Make sure you are taking in adequate carbohydrates. If you are taking in a lot of fruit and veg, yet still get colds you may need to look at vitamin supplements – but they are not essential if your general health is good.


Fluids are essential. Even on a cold day you will lose a lot of liquid through sweating – if this does not get replaced your body cannot function properly. So make sure you keep hydrated. During exercise you should drink to thirst to avoid over hydrating. When training for less than 75 minutes, water or an isotonic drink are adequate. If training for over 90 minutes, consider using an energy drink to keep your glycogen levels topped up.

Other preparation – looking after your feet

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Be kind to your feet!

One of the simplicities of running is that you can do it right from your doorstep and whilst there are many technologically advanced pieces of kit out there, the only essential piece of kit you need is a good pair of trainers.

During your training and on the day of the marathon, your feet are the thing that will make your race successful or unsuccessful and will also be the deciding factor in whether your experience is enjoyable or torturous.

Choosing the right footwear

Get the right shoe to match your running surface. Road running, track
running and cross country all require a different shoe. This may mean owning more than one type of shoe depending on what type of run you have planned. Depending on how serious you are, you may also have a racing shoe specifically for racing.

Know your pronation type. Essentially pronation refers to the way your foot rolls when you walk and run. Most people are neutral runners but if you over or under pronate, without the right support, it could lead to knee and hip issues so get your gait checked. Also bear in mind that your running style will change as you become more efficient so regularly recheck things to make sure you are in the right shoe for your running style.

Look for a shoe that is light weight and breathable but at the same time, make sure it is up to the job. When training for a half marathon you need something a little more substantial to help absorb some of the impact but at the end of the day you are going to be wearing your shoes for many miles so the lighter the better. Let the shop assistant know you are training for a half marathon.

The most important thing is that your shoe fits properly and is wide/long enough so your toes can move freely. The more you run, the more your feet will expand so to ensure your feet have enough room to move around, consider buying your trainers half or a size bigger than your regular shoe size.

Go shoe shopping at the end of the day or after a run when your feet may be slightly swollen. Also be sure to wear the same socks you will be wearing during your runs. This can make a huge difference in how the shoe fits. Try on both shoes. Your feet may not be the same size!

Barefoot running

Barefoot running is a personal choice and needs careful consideration. If you have never tried it before, get some advice as this isn’t for everyone. Always begin with a slow transition from your normal trainers to minimal footwear.

Further information

There’s plenty of further information available via the internet from other reputable sources, such as this Half Marathon article in Runner’s World here.

Terms and Conditions

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We try to keep our Terms and Conditions as simple as possible, but we do have a responsibility to protect the interests of the Charity, and you. If you have any queries regarding these Terms and Conditions please do email us.

When you go through the registration process, you will be asked to accept these Terms and Conditions electronically; you will also be sent an electronic copy along with your registration confirmation.

The Detail

  • You agree to pay a non-refundable registration fee of £30.00 in return for a guaranteed Great North Run place and commit to a fundraising target of £300.00 (in addition to the registration fee, and not including any Gift Aid). You will be required to have raised £100.00 by Friday 3rd June 2022; failure to do so may result in the forfeiture of your place. All monies raised must be paid to ABF The Soldiers’ Charity by Friday 28th October 2022.
  • The event organiser is the Great Run Company; the places offered under these Terms and Conditions have been purchased by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity from the Great Run Company.
  • On completion of registration, we will send you an entry token. This token must be redeemed by 30th June 2022. Failure to redeem the token will make you liable to be invoiced for the cost of an individual entry, £59.00 including VAT.
  • If you need to withdraw from the event, you should defer your place to 2023; instructions to do so can be found on the Great Run website here. You will be charged the cost of an individual entry by the Great Run Company in return for a guaranteed place in 2023. If you fail to defer your place, you will be invoiced by the Charity for the cost of an individual entry, £59.00 including VAT, to cover the cost of your 2022 place. In the case of deferrals, any monies raised will be transferred to 2023; you must advise your sponsors accordingly.
  • If you do not take part and do not defer your place, you will be invoiced by the Charity for the cost of an individual entry, £59.00 including VAT, to cover the cost of your place. Monies raised and processed through sponsorship will not automatically be refunded in the case of non-participation. Should your sponsors not wish their donation to go to ABF The Soldiers’ Charity in the event of your non-participation, they should apply to have the donation refunded by contacting ABF The Soldiers’ Charity Regional Office by email. Any monies held by you should, in the event of non-participation, be returned to the sponsors unless they agree to still donate it to ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.
  • You agree notify us immediately and, in any event within 2 days, if you become aware of any reason (whether medical or otherwise) why you may not or ought not to compete in the event.
  • You agree to comply with any rules or regulations relating to the event as we or the Great Run Company (including event officials and stewards) may notify you of from time to time in respect of the event.
  • If you fail to reach the required fundraising target of £300.00, we reserve the right to invoice you for the remaining balance.
  • You acknowledge that participation in the event may be physically demanding, and you are aware of the nature of the event and associated medical and physical risks involved.
  • You agree that you are physically capable of taking part in the event and agree to be solely responsible for your actions. ABF The Soldiers’ Charity is not responsible for any injury or illness that you may suffer because of your participation in the event.
  • You must tell sponsors that the money raised will benefit ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, a registered charity in England and Wales (1146420) and Scotland (SCO38189). Further information about the Charity can be found on our website.
  • You must ask sponsors to pay the monies directly to you, or via your fundraising page, not directly to ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.
  • You agree to conduct all fundraising using legal methods and in compliance with the advice contained within your fundraising pack; the fundraising pack will be sent electronically with your registration confirmation.
  • You agree to ABF The Soldiers’ Charity storing the information that you provided on their database in accordance with your communications preferences on the registration form. Please see our Privacy Policy for details.
  • You are responsible for your own travel, accommodation and insurances whilst participating in this event.

In selecting YES during the registration process, you acknowledge and accept the terms and conditions set out above.

Volunteering Opportunities

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We rely on our fantastic volunteers to help with our fundraising efforts, and the Great North Run is no different.

Volunteers 2

If you have someone running, or if you simply want to put a smile on someone’s face, please get in touch with us by email or give us a call – we would love to have you on board!

We aim to have at least two cheering points (dependent upon the availability of volunteers):

  • On the A184 (Felling Bypass) just beyond the Heworth Interchange; there is a metal footbridge that crosses the dual carriageway at this point.
  • On the A183 (Coast Road) between the 12 mile point and finish.

It would also be good to get a smattering of  of other cheering points along the route – a little encouragement for the runners goes a long way.

So that you will stand out from the crowd, we will provide you with one of our bold new t-shirts!


Volunteer Now!


If you would like to volunteer or fundraise in a different way for other events, please do get in touch with us!

Contact Us

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If you need any further help or assistance, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us in the North East and Yorkshire Regional Office:


Office Map
Click on the map for our exact location

ABF The Soldiers’ Charity

Hipswell Lodge

Catterick Garrison

North Yorkshire


Thank you.

Great North Runner

Event Sponsors