The Run


Run the Original! Celebrate our 40th Birthday by travelling back in time with us to take part in the original Great North Run – wherever you are in the world.

Free to Enter £

Run Like It's 1981

On 28 June 1981, 12,264 people lined up in Newcastle for the first Great North Run – it was the start of something special.

40 years on, the event has grown into a landmark event on the sporting calendar; 60,000 runners from across the world take part every year, over 1 million people have finished the event, hundreds of millions of pounds have been raised for good causes, and the event has earned the title of the world’s biggest half marathon.

GNR81 gives you the chance to relive the first Great North Run virtually – wherever you are in the world!

The 13.1 Mile Challenge

The challenge is to complete the iconic 13.1 mile route from Newcastle to South Shields, anytime between 26 – 28 June. You can choose to complete the full distance in one go, or break it up into separate runs. Once you have completed the half marathon distance, simply come back to submit your results and confirm that you have completed the challenge and you will receive a commemorative GNR81 digital certificate to download.

To ensure everyone can be part of this amazing throwback journey, GNR81 is free to enter

Our aim is to take you on a retro running adventure to relive the experience of the first ever Great North Run, complete with runners’ stories of ‘the first’, a special GNR classic 80s playlist, the original route map to follow, the chance to wear the original race number, and of course a special message of support from founder Brendan Foster.  

There is also a range of exclusive merchandise available to purchase to commemorate your participation and achievement, including a retro version of the first ever finisher’s medal & t-shirt. 

 Enter now to secure your place in GNR81, it really is a run for the ages! 


Official Merchandise

The exclusive GNR81 merchandise range includes a retro GNR81 medal, t-shirt, hoodie, race number and headband/wristband set. All merchandise is available to order on entry.


The Challenge


How it works

1Sign up to GNR81, it's free to enter
2Get ready to run from 26 June
3Complete the 13.1 mile distance by 28 June
4Keep track of your time and distance
5Submit your results to download your digital certificate
Free to Enter £

Track Your Activity

We suggest you use a tracking app to log your running activity – any tracking app or watch can be used. Once you have completed the 13.1 mile distance come back to this challenge page and submit your results to receive your GNR81 digital certificate. The results section will be live from 26 June. To log in and submit your results you will need your unique Great Run ID, which can be found in your entry confirmation email.

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