Runners, specators and businesses were left dismayed in 2021 when organisers announced the iconic half marathon would both start and finish in Newcastle, which they said was to help with social-distancing measures.
It came after the 2020 event was scrapped altogether due to the pandemic, meaning traders in South Tyneside had lost out on one of their busiest days of the calendar two years running.
Now, as runners receive emails confirming if they have been successful in their entries, Sir Brendan has revealed the number of runners – previously around 57,000 – will increase by 3,000 to 60,000 for the race’s return to South Shields.
He said: “We’re delighted to be back this year, bigger and better than ever.
“We were so proud to be able to stage the event last year under such difficult circumstances, but we’re really looking forward to welcoming runners, spectators and charities back to the event as they know and love it, with a record number of incredible individuals on the start line.
“The Great North Run is synonymous with the North East and showcases our spirit, hospitality and ingenuity across the world, we hope the event will mark an important milestone on the road to regional and national recovery after such a testing time for us all.”
Sir Brendan said the event was originally due to reach this milestone in 2020 on what would have been its 40th staging, but after a three-year wait due to a cancellation and a course change brought about by the pandemic, the Great North Run will finally be ready to welcome its biggest ever field as it returns to its historic city to sea course in 2022.
The Great Run Company reported a huge response to the ballot and those lucky enough to have secured a place have been notified this week.
For those who didn’t get a place this year, or who didn’t get a chance to enter the ballot but are still keen to taking part, there are a limited number of charity places available through the Great Run website.