Huge demand as Great North Run 2020 ballot opens - but runners urged to keep trying

The opening of the Great North Run 2020 general entry ballot was met with huge demand – as keen runners queued for around hour online in the hope of securing a place.

By Sophie Brownson
Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 10:58 am
Updated Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 1:19 pm

It comes as the iconic half marathon celebrates its 40th anniversary on Sunday 13 September, having been the first event of its kind to welcome home one million finishers back in 2014.

First staged in 1981 with an unprecedented 12,000 runners, the Great North Run has grown in stature to now accept a huge 57,000 entries.

And once again the event is expected to attract huge crowds – with more than 200,000 supporters predicted to line the route from the centre of Newcastle to South Shields.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Great North Run 2019 finishers.

The general entry ballot for the event opened on Monday, January 6, and was immediately met with huge demand, with runners placed into a queuing system to enter.

And the demand continues into its second day, with entrants still being told to expect a wait of an hour.

But organisers Great Run are urging runners not to be deterred – assuring those entering right up until the February 9 deadline that they will have as much chance of being successful as early entrants.

A Great Run spokesman said: “As to be expected for an event as popular as the Great North Run, there has been huge demand from people entering the ballot when it opened on Monday.

Charity runners finishing the Great North Run 2019.

“The general entry ballot for the Great North Run will be open until February 9, after which there will be an entirely random draw for places.

“Someone entering the ballot in three weeks’ time has as much chance of being successful as they would entering tomorrow, so we encourage potential participants to come back another time if they experience delays on the entry platform.

“Once again it is clear that the Great North Run, on its ruby anniversary, is very much the jewel in the running crown and we look forward to celebrating our milestone achievement with everyone in September.”

To register for the Great North Run ballot visit

Another Great North Run achivement for Sir Mo Farah.

The ballot will close at 9pm on Sunday, February 9, with all applicants being notified via email by Friday, February 14.