Runners from around the globe are again encouraged to get involved with the world’s biggest half-marathon

Organisers of the Simplyhealth Great North Run are looking to build on a record-breaking achievement at the world’s biggest half-marathon.

Last year the Great World Run initiative saw runners born in 178 nations of the 193 UN recognised nations across the globe represented on the start line in Newcastle.

The unique achievement led to then-United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon sending a message of support to the event organisers and the 57,000 entrants.

“The Great North Run is an example of how sport empowers, motivates and inspires. It does all this while raising money for many worthwhile causes,” he said.

“The Great North Run is a true celebration of humanity, commitment and personal achievement. In a culture that loves to celebrate winners, this event makes winners of all its participants”

Already, there are runners from more than 100 nations signed up for the 2017 staging of the Simplyhealth Great North Run, which takes place on September 10, including the tiny South Pacific island nation of Palau.

Event organisers The Great Run Company are seeking the support of the region and the worldwide running community in an attempt to recruit some of the smaller nations such as Tuvalu, whose population equals that of Yorkshire town Wakefield.

Last year many of the international runners forged friendships as a result of the event and have stayed in constant contact eight months on from last year’s landmark half-marathon.

Brendan Foster, The Great Run Company chairman, said: “Last year’s Great North Run was a true celebration of runners from all around the world. That so many of our Great World Run participants still stay in touch underlines the spirit of togetherness that was achieved.

“We’re looking forward to trying this again in 2017 and we hope that we can bring in many more people from across the globe in this celebration of running that reinforces our position as the World’s Favourite Run.”

For more information on the Great World Run initiative and to find out which countries are yet to be represented, visit

If you think you can help and would like to be considered for the campaign, email [email protected].

Potential participants are required to have been born in the country they wish to represent and be able to verify it.