The iconic half-marathon event will now celebrate its landmark 40th staging in 2021

The 2020 Great North Run and Great Manchester Run events have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Great North Run was originally scheduled for September 13 but the iconic half-marathon will now celebrate its landmark 40th staging in 2021.

“We’re sorry that we’ve had to cancel the Great North Run,” said Paul Foster, chief executive of The Great Run Company. “We haven’t taken the decision lightly. The event raises over £25m for charity and is an important day in the North East calendar.

“Over the past few months we worked hard to try and find a way to stage the Great North Run while observing social distancing rules, and most importantly, not impacting on our local NHS. We also looked at holding the Great North Run later in the year.

“However, as things stand, and even as the situation improves, it’s not going to be possible to meet these goals with any certainty, and so we have concluded that the best course of action is to cancel.”

He added: “I’d like to thank our partners at Newcastle, Gateshead and South Tyneside Councils, and especially our medical teams working in North East NHS Trusts for their support in trying to find a way to stage the Great North Run this year.

“Despite not being able to stage the event as planned we are exploring ways to mark the occasion and hope to be able to share our plans soon.”

Runners who had a place in this year’s Great North Run half-marathon event will be given the option to roll it over to the next Great North Run, currently scheduled for Sunday September 12, 2021, or receive a refund of their entry fee.

The Junior & Mini Great North Run and the Great North 5km, which traditionally take place on the Saturday before the Great North Run, have also been cancelled.

Further information is available at greatrun.org/north

The Great Manchester Run, which was originally due to take place in May and had been postponed to September 6, will also not be held in 2020.

Runners will be able to carry their entry for this year across to the 2021 event, planned for May 23, or receive a refund.

The Junior & Mini Great Manchester Run events have also been cancelled and entrants will receive a full refund.

Great Manchester Run participants are being invited to run their own #MyGreatManchesterRun, with everyone who manages to complete their half-marathon or 10km distance between now and the event date of September 6 to receive their medal.

“Event day is only a small part of the challenge our runners take on, they put in a huge amount of preparation and training in the weeks and months before. They should be able to celebrate that achievement, however they get there,” said Foster.

“We want to thank all of our participants and partners for their continued support and understanding.”

Full information is available at greatrun.org/manchester

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