Calling all Bupa Great North Run hopefuls

We’re on the lookout for six super-keen RW members to train up and treat to an elite support package at this year’s Great North Run (October 5).

Whether you’re aiming to break 1:30 or complete the half-marathon distance for the first time, we’ll aim to get the best out of you by providing you with:

• A bespoke 10-week training schedule devised by a RW coach and support throughout the duration of your race preparation
• A personal nutrition plan from the Lucozade Sport team of sport scientists and nutritionists, as well as two Lucozade Sport Runners’ Training Packs bulging with high-performance hydration and nutritional products
• A race-preparation seminar and training run with Liz Yelling, the Lucozade Sport inspirational running ambassador and Team GB member for the Beijing 2008 Olympics
• VIP hospitality on race day, including exclusive access to the start area
• Lucozade Sport Super Six running kit

A night’s hotel accommodation, private transfer to the start line, travel costs, a digital camera (to capture your training on film) and exclusive entry to the Lucozade Sport partner race, the BUPA Great Yorkshire Run, are also included in this fantastic experience. Click here for more prize details

You don’t even need a place in the race; we can take care of this for you (but we also want to hear from those who’ve already entered).

What we do ask is that you’re happy to share every step of your journey with us here at Runner’s World (both online and in print) through posting regular training updates and keeping a video diary (equipment provided).

Simply nominate yourself (or a fellow forumite, or second an existing nomination) on this thread, in no more than 250 words, before midnight, July 3.

Brief running history:
Reason why we should train you:
Half-marathon goal:

Get nominating and good luck!

Catherine RW
Competition Terms and Conditions


  • Name:  Anthony Blacker

    Running History:  All 27 prevoius Great North Runs (best of 1 hour 23 mins). 15 Marathons (best of 3 hours 13 mins). Plus several other Half-Maratons, including Bath, Bristol, Watford, Ely & Borehamwood. Also numerous 10ks and 5ks.

    Half-marathon goal:  I'd like to get back under 2 hours, say 1 hour 45 mins.

    Why you should train me:  Basically my training is slightly unstructuted, I just get out & run, though I only do 2 or 3 miles in a session and hardly any speed work. I need a bit of a push to kick start things again. 

  •  Karen Lister

    Started running in 1999 after having breast cancer at the age of 29.  I wanted to get fit ater all my treatment and asked a friend to join me at the gym.  She said yes as long as I joined her in a run.  After an agreement had been made, off we went.  My first run was worse than my first chemo session.   After a few months I joined the Womens running network, and then went on to organise one of their groups.  I then had a reoccurance of my cancer so took a few months out to get that sorted, then it was back to the running and a charity place in the Londn marathon for Regain, a charity for helping disabled people in sport.  Did the London marathon and then seemed to lose the love of running.  Took a few years out but decided to get back into it 2 years ago.  Have done 2 halves this year but were last minute entries and were not impresive results.

     I could greatly benefit from RW training as I have been drifting with my training.  I am very disciplined with myself but am lacking in the knowledge to make the most of my ablities.  My goal is to achieve a 1.50 half marathon.  I honestly believe that with the right coaching I can achieve this.  To run in the great North run in my 40th year would be great.  I was looking for that special run to do this year.

  • Name - M.ister W 

    Running History – I started running in 2002 and ran my first half marathon in 2003.  Since then I've run about 10 half marathons, two marathons, two ultras and ironman.  My half marathon PB is 1:37.


    My running career progressed through the usual route over several years.  10km, half marathon then marathon.  I then diverted my attention to triathlon and, under the guidance of the pirates, tackled ironman in 2007.  That year I also discovered ultras, running the Thames Ultra then Tring 2 Town in Feb 2008.  Since then I have struggled to get back my motivation.  I had decided before T2T that my next challenge would be to go for a 1:30 half but moving home, and running club, and various other personal upheavals have left me unable to get motivated.  I would still like to break the 1:30 barrier but need some help to get my training back on track.


    Half Marathon Goal – Sub 1:30

  • Name: Dave Ramus

    Brief running history: started running about 3 years back but never took it seriously (as in just ran the same old route and never pushed myself), its only been the last 6months that i have started taking it seriously, now run with a local club and do between 20 and 30 miles a week (ish). done the usual load of 10k's, 5 milers and 10 milers... its time to crank it up a notch.

    Reason why we should train you: well why not? if i am honest my reasons are probably the same as eveyother runner on here - i want to get better. it would be great to have someone who knows what they're on about assess my fitness and help me progress as a runner... thats about it really, so go on, why the hell not hey?!? image

    Half-marathon goal: not sure i have one yet - thats where you guys come in and help me out to get one image

  • Name - JPenno

    Running History – I started running in 2002 after having done nothing for Ten years after knee injury playing football. Picked up a copy of marathon news in a sportshop and deciced to go for a run. Have subsequently ran various first half marathons since including GNR in 2005 in 2hrs 08. My PB is 1:37. having done that twice this year.

    Have done FLM twice, but suffered injury in 2006 at 18 miles and then suffered badly in the heat in 2007.

    My aim and goal for Half Marathon for 2008 is to go sub 1:30 and need the apporpriate training and coaching to do this.

    I have also done various triathlons and am aiming to do IMCH in 2009..

     Half Marathon Goal – Sub 1:30 and with the right structured training this should be achievable
  • Running history. I started running in Sept 07. Prior to this I spent most of my time in the gym getting fit to run. Since January 06 I have gone from a 20 stone 9lb couch potatoe to a more respectable weight of 13 stone 3 lb. I have taken part in 5 races this year, finishing in all of them. The longest to date was an 11 mile multi terrain. My PB in a 10k is 43.02, and at the moment am training to take part in the Cardiff half marathon and then the Endurance for Life coastal series. I am 41 this year and am currently running roughly 50 miles a week.

    My reason for entering is I would like to have someone who could help me improve my training and fitness. My ultimate goal is to take part in an ultra, so any help would be great.image

  • Name: Nigel Blacker (Wrinkly)

    Brief Running History:  I've been running on and off for the last 20 years or so (more off than on).  I've done various halfs, 10ks, on road and off-road races.  5 years ago when I turned 40 I did the Great North, Great East, Great West and Great South runs, but didn't do as well as I'd have liked time-wise for the GNR. 

    Reason: My training has been very random for the last few years, I joined a running club a couple of years ago and my training and times improved.  But moved house to be nearer work, and I'm finding it difficult (impossible?) to go home then back out to the running club.  If I have others watching me and telling me what runs I need to do then I'll push myself hard, but I've lost my motivation recently.  Now I’m limited to running to/from work and round the lanes on a lunchtime.  It would be interesting to see if it’s possible to get a good Half-Marathon time on a maximum 7 miles training run.  I could run further on a weekend, but that would reduce the time I could spend with my young children.

    Goal: 2 targets the first would be to beat my previous time on the GNR (about 1:50) but my official target has to be to beat my PB (1:40) in such a big race. 

  • Name: Mandy Hindle

     Brief Running History: Don't scroll too fast down the page or you'll miss it....image

    I'm one of those local people that always said 'I'm gonna do the Great North Run', but you never actually get around to it. So last year, I entered the ballot for the GNR. I somehow got a place. I spent the year thinking I had plenty of time to train. I went out running about 5-6 times through out the year. Running about 2 - 2.5 miles tops.Then all of a sudden it's the Friday before the race, so I get on my trainer's (Nike Rifts of all things) and run about 6 miles. I managed it, didn't die and it was a bit late to do anything about running any further. I then spent Saturday before the race with my head down the toilet after catching a sickness bug from my 3yr old nephew. I ran the race (in my Rift trainers) and somehow got to the end in 2hrs 33mins with massive blisters on my feet. After running the GNR, I had a new found love for running. The atmosphere at the event was just amazing and I wanted to experience it all again with my partner so entered us both this year. It seriously got me hooked on running and I've been trying to run (without much luck) since the start of the year. I have bursts where I run 3-4 times a week then get sick and give up.

    Reason why we should train you:  I think I did really well without any training last year and despite the determination I have, I keep lacking motivation. I've joined a running club two weeks ago to try and help keep me going. But when my other half comes out running for the first time and can run quicker and further than you, it's very demoralising after working so hard for so long and I feel like giving up!

    Half-marathon goal: - To beat the other half and do it in under 2 hours would be an excellent achievement for someone as slow as me!!

    p.s HELP ME PLEASE!!

  • Name: Roslyn Macpherson

    History: Started running about 2003 as a reason to take the dog to the beach. When he died I switched to road running, damaged my knees & stopped. Since then until this January I only ran intermittently, then in January decided to train for a local 5k in June. Ended up running a 10K in March instead, my first ever and so far only race (58 mins 23 secs). I have another 10k for July 19th. 

    Reason: This is my first-ever half marathon and I got my place through Christian Aid, I’m hoping to raise at least £300 for their work in disaster zones. I live on the island of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides where there’s no running club for support or motivation. I also have to tailor my training around rather extreme weather conditions, which can mean no running for weeks at a time. I never thought I’d run a half marathon as soon as this, thinking that maybe next year I’d try & train for the local half-marathon, I’m now at 7 miles. I’m so excited at the training and the sense of achievement. The thought of crossing the finish line of the GNR reduces me to tears already. My youngest daughter is keen on running too and at 7 I really want to set her an example of what anyone can achieve, maybe one day we’ll race together. I want to make my kids and my husband proud. 

    Goal: 2 hours

  • joddlyjoddly ✭✭✭

    Name:   Joddly,  Female, will turn 45 the week before the GNR.

    Brief running history:  I've run on and off for 20 years, probably mostly off. Currently in a good phase, getting round FLM 2008 in 3:41:30. I'm useless at speed, as my 5k / 10k times testify, and definitely better over longer distances. Never done the Great North Run before, though I did spend one summer eating revolting energy bars as  part of a GNR study apparently designed to see if Glucosamine enrichment improved people's half marathon times - never did manage to find out the result (or even if my bars were placebo!). 

    Reason why we should train you: Actually, I'm nothing special. I have typical problems - motivation fluctuations, living in the sticks & on a hill, family, job, holiday plans etc. I was hugely motivated by this year's RW FLM Dream Team threads, and think I might be able to help motivate and support others in the same way for the GNR. I'd be honest, moderately un-selfpitying image, and sympathetically encouraging. Probably.

    Half-marathon goal: 1:40, but also planning Abingdon marathon 2 weeks later so long runs would reflect this (starting RW sub-3:30 plan next week, in fact!).

    OK - that's it. Hope you get a good selection, and I look forward to lurking / joining in as appropriate!

  • Name: Coops

    Brief running history: I once ran to the chinese as it was close to closing time. Half marathon pb of 1.36.

    Reason why we should train you: Because without me, this site would be rubbish.

    Half-marathon goal:  Sod the half marathon, I want a piss up in Newcastle for the weekend. 

  • Running 'seriously' for about the last 5 years, but got much better when I stopped smoking (obviously!) I also hit 40 & thought that was time I got fit for old age creeping up on me. I've only managed to get out n about when hubbys in, & I'm not at work. 2 children limits the amount of free time I have. Recently I've been busy helping with 3 poorly old ladies in my family, so my running time has been severly affected. I've always treated running as 'my time', just 30 mins away from it all. Winning the training package would be a fantastic way to improve my technique (if I've even got 1), it would give me a bit of 'me time' back.

    Goal; to be able to finish with a smile on my face!image

  • Running History: I started running in 2006 after a drunken conversation about the Marathon Des Sables. I was immediately owe struck by the event & decided that I had a goal to complete this or something similar within 2 years. With this in my mind I started running around 15 miles per week. I ran my first half in 2006 in a time of 1hr52m. Later that year I signed up for the Kalahari Extreme Marathon a 7 day race as the MDS was full. 2 years later I have now completed that & other ultra events & ran a PB half marathon in Feb 2007 of 1hr 28min.

    Half-marathon goal: To knock 5 minutes of my personal best to run a 1hr 23min

    Why you should train me:  I have learnt to build up a high base mileage through Ultra training however my speed work is lacking. I would like to be able to run a sub 3 hour marathon & by improving my half time, I feel this will put me well on track & also help to prove that ultra runners do not have to be slow!
  • Name:  NickB303

    Brief Running History: Running for nearly 4 years, after 10 years of inactivity, have run 5 marathons and 7 halfs.

    Reasons: I have come a crossroads in my running "career" 18 months ago I ran 1:33 in a gale at Silverstone but following the 2007 FLM things have gone belly up with performances going backwards despite more training.  I need to know whether I have to accept the onset of old age (45) or whether a more structured training plan will put me back on course to achieving my goals.

    Goal: Sub 1:30    

  • Claudia Bauer


    Running History: I started running a few years ago, and although it’s been somewhat on and off I’ve taken running a lot more seriously over the past year. I’ve done a few races over the last year – my 10K PB is 1hr 4mins. I have also done a half marathon, getting in at 2hrs 22mins and 35 seconds, and had a really good day!

    Why should you choose me? Because this would really help me. I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to both running and other things in my life, I have no confidence in myself and am constantly telling myself that I can’t do something. I hence feel I would definitely benefit from this opportunity, which could make me more confident in my running ability –and it really could change me.

    My goal is to finish a half marathon in under 2 hours – but I would be happy with sub 2hrs 10mins at the moment! But I also have another goal – to get round without any walking breaks! Even though I have completed races from 5K up to a half marathon I barely manage to run 2 miles at a time without a walking break, and I feel that I really need to get rid off them if I’m ever going to speed up! Also - to reach the finish, happy and proud of myself!

    Thanks for reading image

  • <Jumps up and down, waving his hand in the air......>  Pick me....... pick me....... image
  • Name: Dave C

    Running History.  Until 3 years ago, school was the last time I had ever run further than a mile.  I was that man that said 'I can't run' or 'I don't have time'.  Then at age 36 I encountered one of lifes dilemma's - did I want to be fat at 40 or fit at 40?  I vowed to myself that I would be fit.  On my first run I stupidly ran 250 yards flat-out and then nearly collapsed. There had to be an better way and that is when I stumbled across the Runners World web-site.  I haven't looked back.  From the beginners 5k plan I have gone through 10k and half marathon training.  Running has helped transformed my life.  I have lost 2 stone in weight and am fitter than I have ever been.  I turn 40 in August.

    Reasons why you should train me:  I am up for the challenge.  I thrive on well structured routines so following an agreed plan is running right up my street.  I'd be happy to share my experiences and would do that in a light-hearted manner.  I'm no elite athlete and can relate to the average joe public runner that can't run 70 miles per week, has a busy job and a family to tend to. 

    Half Marathon Goal: to beat my previous time of 1:46:19 and build a solid base for running the New York Marathon in November.

  • I've already got a place, and I live local, but just wanted to wish all the entrants best of luck! image
  • I don't care what stunts you pull RW, I am not doing it.

    I wont I tell you, I wont.

    Now leave me alone.

  • DavyTeeDavyTee ✭✭✭

    Name : Dave Turner

    Brief Running History: I have been running since feb 2008, i havnt run since i was at school 24 years ago and even then cross country was a fag behind the sports hut whilst everyone else ran the course. I started off on the run 1 minute walk 1 minute plan and now i am running 45 mins 6k non stop trying to achieve my goal of running a 10k in Sept 2008.

    Why We should Choose Me: I had a heart attack in 1995 when i was 25 years old and since then have vowed to keep healthy. I always have a goal each year ie: Climb a mountain (have done Kilimanjaro,Grossglockner) Cycle a long distance (Coast to coast ,Great North Ride) and now would love to do a Long Run, Great North Run. I am 40 and overweight (slightly) and i think following my training plan would inspire others to follow.

    Why you should train me: Other than reading training plans on this web site i have no other training methods. I am confused at the amount of information availble which sometimes contradicts it self. I would benefit from professional training which hopefuly would set me on the right path to lifelong fittness.

    Goal:  Just to finish without walking would be great but i would hope to achieve the run in about 2hrs


  • I'd like to second Farnie!!!
  • *fingers in ears*

    laarrhh laarrhhh larrhhh

  • <stands behind farnie with a banner reading "PICK ME">
  • Name:  Graeme Hirstwood

    Brief running history:  Started running about 2 years when drunkenly bet a friend that I could run a marathon.  On my first run I had to stop after the first mile and sit down.  From there, an over weight, smoking and binge drinking sloth, I have become a somewhat trim and healthy person.  However, I do now have a rather unhealthy obsession with running.

    Reason why we should train you:  For three reasons - 1, I have wanted to run the Great North Run since before I started running.  2, Whilst running the 2007 Edinburgh Marathon my knee gave out.  It was one of the biggest disapointments that I have ever experienced and it took quite a bit of physio work to get back into the run of things (pardon the pun).  I have to complete the Edinburgh Marathon and this would be a fantastic step towards my goal.  3, I'll buy you a pint.

    Half-marathon goal:  My fastest pre-injury half was 1:45:47 so I would like to equal or better that time.

  • KevR

    I've always been reasonably fit (only from gym work and football years ago) but had never trained for, or run a race of any kind until this year.  I started running in January this after getting a Ballot place for FLM.  The concepts of distance running were very foreign to me at first.  My training went well although I felt it was fairly conservative but I just kept following my RW schedule pretty much to the letter.  My target changed from an initial 4hrs to a possible sub 3:15 as I toed the line.  I was absolutley over the moon when I finished in 3:12.50.  I enjoyed the whole experience so much I couldn't help wonder if I could have trained any harder and had a real go at getting a GFA place with a sub 3 (I only found out about GFA entry after FLM).  I now really wish I had as I want to run again next year,  I've  kept running since FLM and have been encouraged to concentrate on improving my half marathon time in the short term wth the longer trem aim of going for a sub 3 next spring.  I've only ever run the Silverstone Half this year in the build uup to FLM in 1:31:57. 

    My target is to run sub 1:25 (or maybe even sub 1:23) for the half marathon by the end of the year and then try and have a go at my sub 3 target in Edinburgh or New York  I would love to be trained to RW to try and show what can be achieved in a relatively short space of time,  I am very disciplined (to my detriment at times with strain/injuries etc) and will follow any schedule to the letter !  I might even get some shorter shorts and a proper running vest so I almost look like a runner....... 

    GNR GOAL: Sub 1:25

  • Stats :  Rachael Tewkesbury, 25, from Isle of Man

    Running history :  Dabbled over the years in running & fitness but since coming back from a years travelling at the end of last year, I've realised that I have the potential to become a fairly decent runner. I have dedication, determination & goals that I have set myself, but I am lacking the knowledge & expertise that I could get from you guys!

    First goal :  I am running 2 marathons in the next 7 months, Dublin (October 2008) & DisneyWorld Florida (January 2009) . I completed London Marathon back in 2006 (when I was pretty unfit) & did a time of 4.12. I now aim to knock quite a chunk off my next marathon & do a sub 3.40 race in Dublin.

    Second goal (which i desperately want to achieve):  INEED  to gain the qualifying time to run for my Island (IOM) next year in the Island Games out in Aland. I NEED to get a time of 1.32. I have yet to do a half marathon race but have done 2 ten miler races in the last couple of months, the first being 70.56 & the second 70.12.

    I think one of my problems is that I overtrain with cardio in the gym but I am extremely pleased with my progress so far considering I have managed these times in such a short space of time, order to successfully complete my second goal...I NEED YOUR HELP.

    I am prepared & dedicated  for  anything you throw my way.....

  • Name: Tony Hodge Running History: Started running in 1984 to get fit initially and then to become competitive.   Have now run 28 full marathons including 12 in London and 4 in New York with my PB being 2:56:30.   In the last 3 years I have worked in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Ministry of Defence and that was a particularly stressful time and it wasn’t possible to run when it was too dangerous due to rocket attacks on the Bases.   On my last tour (which ended in late Feb 08), I broke my ankle and have struggled to regain full fitness.. Reason Why We Should Train You: To get me back to where I want to be – fit and competitive again after the injury and stresses of living in a war zone. Goal: Sub 1:30
  • Name: Michael Gomes, age 18, 6'3"

    Brief running history:
    Started running in November 2007, ran the Norwich Half Marathon after 2 practice runs, in 1:50. I then ran the Barcelona marathon on March 2nd this year, with 6 practice and only one long run (which i mistakenly completed 5 days before the run), and did it in 4:23. A few weeks later ran King's Lynn 10k in 45mins.

    Reason why we should train you: I now have an appetite for running and really enjoy the thrill of a race day. I am a medical student with plenty of free time (particularly over summer!), so would love to be able to train effectively every day and see how much potential my body has.

    Half-marathon goal: I think with the appropriate training I could comfortably break 1:30, but it would be nice to see how fast I could go with the correct support in place.

  • JAMES DUNN  Running History started doing halfs for a bet my mate is 47 im 39 he does them in 1 40 im doing my halfs in about 2 50. Ive done 6 now and still nowhere near his time .Reasons Why I Should Train Me: I want to get close to his time and i am very will to sweat blood and tears:Goal 1 40 sub


  • Started running in 2006 with a Race for Life event, carried on training and hatched a plan to do GNR the same year, had a bit of a set back by having tendonitis in my foot and ended up on crutches some 8 weeks before the run but raised £500 for Wellbeing of Women as I had a charity place managed 2hr 50 with some walking in between, was very hot and felt like a long way! Determined to continue - carried on running all winter, did a local 10k run, finished near the back but ran it all! Entered Humber Bridge Half Marathon - ran it all and got a PB 2hrs 27, runners world training had paid off! Got a place on GNR 2007 ran it all got rid of some 9mile gremlins and doubts and did 2hr 33. Came home and joined local running club, had some winter training ran Reading Half Marathon in March in 2hrs 19 - getting better! Have just done 2 10k runs achieving PB and heading into training for what will be my last GNR 2008 hoping for another PB! My annual jaunt to Newcastle is not going down too well for my long suffering husband!

    I am a humble mother of 4, working nearly full time as a nurse, currently completing a nursing degree, there just aren't enough hours in the day! I hope I am an inspiration to my kids - who have done some fun runs with me and the patients who know I run and other 45+yr working mums who want to be around to a good age and see their kids grow up by staying healthy, I also lost over 2 stone since I started. Running is my stress buster and I just can't stop!!!

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