Virtual GNR challenges expected to raise £250k for NHS

Thousands of runners cross the Tyne Bridge Credit: The Great Run Company Ends.

Two virtual running challenges created by the organisers of the Great North Run are expected to raise £250,000 for the NHS Charities Together COVID-19 Urgent Appeal.

Great Run Solo and Great North Run Solo have reached 30,000 entries to date, with the latter achieving over 20,000 of those in just three weeks. Organisers believe it is the biggest virtual running challenge launched by an individual event in the UK.

The combined fundraising total stands at over £200,000 and this is expected to rise to a quarter of a million in the coming weeks.

Great Run Solo was initially introduced in May to provide running challenges to keep people active during the lockdown period, and Great North Run Solo was formed to celebrate the 40th staging of the iconic half marathon after its cancellation due to the public health crisis caused by coronavirus.

Both continue to raise vital funds for the NHS Charities Together COVID-19 Urgent Appeal, with all profits going to the charity, which meets the immediate needs of patients, staff and volunteers affected by the virus.

Launched on the 28 June, the anniversary of the first ever Great North Run, Great North Run Solo challenges runners to complete 40 runs up until the 13 September, the day the 40th event was scheduled to take place.

It is part of a wider campaign called Great North Run Reimagined, providing runners with two virtual running propositions; Great North Run Solo to take them through what would have been the traditional training period and the Official Virtual Great North Run to give an on the day virtual race experience.


Even though the Great North Run won’t take place on the ground, we still have thousands of people who want to celebrate this iconic event and we’re thrilled that so many people have entered the Great North Run Solo virtual running challenge.

Paul Foster, chief executive of The Great Run Company

Organisers are urging people to get involved in the virtual challenges to ensure the Great North Run 'still has a presence' in 2020.

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