More than one million people have completed the Great North Run since it launched in 1981, and 60,000 more will cross the start line on Sunday 8 September 2024.
Runners can expect to enjoy the unrivaled support of the people of Gateshead and Newcastle, who line every inch of the route from the south bank of the Tyne to the finish line in South Shields.
With such an enormous field of runners you might think it would be easy to get a place, but that’s not the case. The Great North Run is one of the most sought-after races in the UK and anyone hoping to get a paid-for general entry place has to enter a ballot. Here’s everything you need to know about the process.
When is the Great North Run ballot?
The 2024 lottery opened on Monday 8 January 2024 and will close on Monday 12 February at 10am. The ballot will be drawn shortly afterward with all entrants notified of the results by Friday 16 February.
How do I enter the Great North Run?
Booking platform Let’s Do This administers the Great Run Ballot. Here is the Great North Run 2024 ballot entry page on the Let’s Do This website.
How much does the Great North Run cost?
It costs £62 to enter the ballot, a rise of £3 on 2023. You must enter payment details to enter the ballot, but you won’t be charged unless you’re given a place. Make sure you have sufficient funds available on 16 February or your place will be given to someone else.
Is the Great North Run ballot random?
Yes, the Great North Run ballot is drawn at random. This means there is no special weighting for those who have entered unsuccessfully in the past, with all entrants having an equal chance of getting a spot.
Are there other ways to run the Great North Run?
If you don’t manage to win a spot through the ballot, you can still take part in the Great North Run by running for a good cause. You can apply for a charity place by checking the website for the full list of organizations that have places in the 2024 race.
Great North Run members can skip the ballot and buy a guaranteed place, but this membership is as sought-after as a place in the race—memberships are sold out for 2024, 2025 and 2026.
The unique atmosphere and crowds of the event mean that missing out on a place in the Great North Run is always a downer—but there’s plenty more going on over the weekend for you to take part in, including the Great North 5K (£23) and the Junior and Mini Great North Run for kids.
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.