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Runners in their thousands at the Great North Run

Virtual Great North Run uses app to recreate race day experience

Organisers of the Virtual Great North Run offer a sound experience on race day

Coronavirus forced the cancellation of the Great North Run that sees PBs in abundance and generates thousands of pounds for charity. However, organisers Great Run Company have developed a virtual version of this iconic event that together with an app, will recreate that unforgettable race day feeling through sound. 

Sunday 13 September is the date for the Official Virtual Great North Run that will enable participants from around the world to experience the live event courtesy of app provider viRACE. Participants will be sent an email beforehand that contains instructions about how to download the app to their Apple/Android smartphone.  

The app detects the runner’s location then tracks their movements, measuring how far they have gone and plays audio clips from the Great North Run along the way to inspire and motivate them to the end of the half marathon. The sounds include a warm-up by Roy Gayle, a fly past by the Red Arrows, notable aspects of the course and distance updates that they listen to on their headphones. Results will be ready to view after the event.

Charities have been struggling during this pandemic as a result of fundraising events being stopped and a fall in donations. The Great North Run raises more than £25m for charity each year and the organisers are keen for participants to support these worthy causes. 

It is a case of the organisers bringing the race to the participant rather than the participant going to the event as Paul Foster, Chief Executive of the Great Run Company says: “There is no live Great North Run in 2020 so we decided that since we can’t do it together, we will bring it to your doorstep instead.”

For more information including FAQ’s and where to enter, visit the Great North Run website.

Image courtesy: Great North Run

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