Deadline nears for Great North Run entry ballot

Runners cross the Tyne.
Runners cross the Tyne.
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The clock is ticking as the closing date approaches for the entry ballot of Britain's biggest running event, the Great North Run.

The deadline for prospective entrants to apply to take part in the iconic half-marathon from Newcastle to South Shields is midday on Monday. The event itself takes place on Sunday, September 11

Last year, double World and Olympic champion Mo Farah became the first British man to win back-to-back Great North Runs since Mike McLeod won the first two events in 1981 and 1982. Although too early in the year to announce the elite field, if Farah returns to Tyneside this year he would have the chance to complete a unique hat-trick of victories.

But the Great North Run is not just for elite athletes, with thousands of regular runners pounding the pavements. The emotional, heart-warming and inspiring stories have become a mainstay of the event, with 2016 expected to be a similar story.

The event is televised live on BBC television and across Europe. It attracts runners to the region from every postcode in the UK and is the highlight of a weekend festival of running that includes junior events, the Great North 5k and the Great North CityGames.

In 2014, Tracey Cramond became the millionth finisher over the line in South Shields, with 57,000 people signing up for the event each year.

The address for registering for the Great North Run ballot is www.greatrun.org/north Applicants must be aged 17 or over on the day of the event. All successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified by February 12.