The 38th edition of the world’s biggest half-marathon will take place on Sunday September 9

The general entry ballot for the world’s biggest half-marathon, the Simplyhealth Great North Run, is now open.

The 38th edition of the annual event will take place on Sunday September 9, when runners will follow in the footsteps of the more than a million people to have so far completed the 13.1-mile distance from Newcastle to South Shields since it was first staged in 1981.

Last year saw a record number of finishers, with 43,127 runners of all abilities crossing the finish line on the South Shields coast, while £18.6million was raised for good causes, with more than two-thirds of finishers taking part to raise money for charities.

The Simplyhealth Great North Run is the highlight of a remarkable weekend in the North East of England which also features the iconic Great North CityGames and the Great North 5k, plus the Junior and Mini Great North Runs.

Last year four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Mo Farah became the first athlete to win four Great North Run titles in a row, which helped him earn the BBC sports personality of the year award. Many other distance running greats including Haile Gebrselassie, Paula Radcliffe, Liz McColgan, Derartu Tulu, Mary Keitany and Kenenisa Bekele have triumphed over the years.

In 2018, the Simplyhealth Great North Run will form part of the finale of the Great Exhibition of the North.

The event will be the centrepiece of the Exhibition’s final weekend in September. The Exhibition will showcase the best of art, culture, design and innovation across the Northern Powerhouse.

To register for the Simplyhealth Great North Run ballot, visit The ballot will close at midday on Monday February 5, with all applicants being notified by email no later than Friday February 9.