Where can I take part in a run in the North East? These are some of the alternative races if you aren't running the Great North Run in 2023

If you’re a Great North Run veteran and want a new challenge or aren’t ready for a half marathon yet there are lots of other options across the region.

The Great North Run is back again for 2023 and the ballot opened this week. With 60,000 runners and plenty more people wanting to get involved, not everyone can run the half marathon from Newcastle to the coast at South Shields.

If you are unable to get a place, fancy skipping this year’s edition of the race or even if you have a place and want a couple of warm-up events before the Sunday, September 10, event, consider putting your name down to some of these events ...

North East half marathons

No plans to run the Great North Run this year? These are the other races across the North East to try instead. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

The Newcastle to South Shields route is iconic but there are other ways to complete the 13.1 mile distance across the region.

Those wanting part of the Great North Run experience by starting near the Town Moor and Exhibition Park in Newcastle have two options, but they are both coming up very soon!

Newcastle Winter Warmer runs

The first of these is the Newcastle Winter Warmer half marathon which costs £25 to enter with the event looking to raise money for homeless charity Shelter.

The event will take place on Saturday, February 4, and anyone aged 17 or over can enter. These entries can be completed online through the event’s website.

Newcastle Valentine’s Day races

The other race starting at the same park is the Run Newcastle Valentine’s Day Half Marathon, which is set to take place on Sunday, February 12. The event is licenced by Run Britain, meaning no headphones are allowed.

The Valentines event is also looking to support charity with money raised going towards LiveLifeGiveLife and entry costs £24 for unaffiliated runners.

Sunderland Half Marathon

Elsewhere in the North East, Sunderland’s weekend of runs is back again with the half marathon taking place on the morning of Sunday, May 7. The route will go from the city centre, out to Roker Park before heading back to the finishing line outside the city’s new city hall.

Entry costs £38 for unaffiliated runners with club runners getting a small discount.

Gateshead Half Marathon

Gateshead’s half marathon just avoids parts of the Great North Run route. Starting at Gateshead International Stadium, the route hugs the south bank of the Tyne before heading over the Swing Bridge and back ahead of going to the Staithes near Dunston. The out-and-back route on Sunday, April 30, is currently available to book for £32.

Penshaw Half Marathon

Back in Wearside the Penshaw Half Marathon is a good option for trial runners. The route starts at the bottom of Penshaw Hill and is a huge challenge for anyone wanting to spend the £32 unaffiliated entry price. The route will see entrants climb 1,591 feet as part of one of the region’s most difficult half marathons.

North East 10k races

This length is ideal for new runners wanting a challenge as well as half marathon runners as part of a recovery plan. With the exception of the Penshaw Half Marathon, all of the half marathon events mentioned have 10k alternatives which happen on the same day. These shorter routes are also cheaper to enter but all runners get the same benefits.