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Great North Run goes global

The team behind the Great North Run has announced that this year, every country will be involved. The idea is to make it the Great World Games.

The Great North Run has launched a bid to become the first running event to boast a participant from every country in the world.

The half-marathon, which will be staged for the 36th time on September 11, is already the biggest of its kind in the world, with 57,000 accepted entrants from more than 100,000 applicants.

They're aiming to to recruit at least one runner born in every member state of the United Nations – a total of 193 countries – to take part in the event.

So far, runners from 125 countries have registered, with another 68 required to complete the plan.

Great Run chief executive, Mark Hollinshead, who unveiled the plan at a press conference alongside Great North Run founder Brendan Foster, said:

Last year we had runners from every single postcode in the UK, which makes it Britain’s biggest and favourite run.

By inviting participants from every single country on the planet, it will reassert its credentials as the world’s favourite run.

We’re inviting the people of the United Kingdom to help us find those runners which will make it a spectacular event.

This year, we’ll hopefully celebrate the fact that there’s someone born in every country on the planet in one place, on one day, in the same event which will make it a world first.”

– Mark Hollinshead, Great North Run chief executive

The Great North Run was first staged 35 years ago in 1981 where 12,000 people took part.

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Thousands honour GNR runner at the Yorkshire Marathon

There was a minute's applause for David Colley, the man who died while taking part in the 2015 Great North Run, at the start of the Yorkshire marathon.

The 58-year-old collapsed in the last mile of the half-marathon event in September and passed away from natural causes.

His daughters were among the 7,000 people who took part in the event in York.

Mr Colley's daughters ran the marathon to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation. Credit: ITV News Calendar

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Family pay tribute to runner after GNR death

The family of David Colley, who collapsed and died in the Great North Run, has spoken of their devastation. They have asked the organisers of the race to pass on their gratitude for the sympathy and support they have received.

“David was a regular runner who loved taking part in the Great North Run and always looked forward to the event. We are absolutely devastated.”

– Family statement

Runner who died in GNR named

The runner who died participating in the Great North Run on Sunday has been named as David Colley, from Hull.

David, 58, had taken part in numerous Great North Runs over the last ten years. He collapsed in the last mile of the run and was attended to immediately by the medical services.

A post mortem concluded that Mr Colley died of natural causes.

David Colley
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