Great North Run award
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Great North Run Receives World Athletics Heritage Award

The Great North Run’s enduring legacy and unwavering commitment to excellence have rightfully earned them the esteemed World Athletics Heritage Plaque

The Great North Run award in the prestigious World Athletics Heritage shows their recognition of ‘an outstanding contribution to the worldwide history and development of the sport.’

Launched by World Athletics President Lord Sebastian Coe, the award is a prestigious achievement.

Sir Brendan Foster, Founder and President of The Great Run Company, said:

great north run award

“It is fantastic that the Great North Run is being recognised for its contribution to mass participation in road running.

“This accolade is only awarded to truly great athletes, stadia and events. So, we are profoundly honoured that the Great North Run is now among this select group.

“It’s recognition of 40+ years of dedication to making it a truly world-class event that stands apart from all others.  Along the way, we have welcomed the sport’s greatest athletes alongside over 1.25m runners. We captured the imagination of our runners and the North East region. They year on year join us to do something extraordinary.

“60,000 runners take part in the Great North Run each year. We aim to deliver another spectacular event on 8 September.

“With just a few days left to enter this year’s Great North Run ballot, we hope this prestigious recognition will encourage more people to enter. In that way, becoming a part of Great North Run history.”

Lord Seb Coe, President of World Athletics, said:

great north run award

“I am happy that World Athletics is recognising the Great North Run with the World Athletics Heritage Plaque for its contribution to the worldwide history and development of running.

“The Great North Run, founded by Sir Brendan Foster in 1981, quickly established itself as one of the world’s largest running events. In 2014 it celebrated its millionth finisher! The race which annually raises millions for charities cemented its international reputation by hosting the inaugural World Half Marathon Championships in 1992.

“The Great North Run exemplifies excellence. It attracts many of the world’s greatest runners including Liz McColgan and Tegla Loroupe to name but a very few.

“Congratulations to Brendan and his team for their continued outstanding work for our sport.”

Chris Turner, Director, Heritage Department and Museum of World Athletics said:

“I am happy to confirm the award of the World Athletics Heritage Plaque to the Great North Run.

“Awarded in our competition category, this honour celebrates the Great North Run’s outstanding contribution to the history and development of international elite and mass race road running since its foundation in 1981.”

Further details and the official Great North Run Award presentation will follow later in the year.

To experience the Great North Run, the ballot is now open. It will close on Monday, 12 February at 10 am. You can enter the ballot today here.