We need YOU… to take part in the Virtual Great North Run for Mental Health Research UK

The first ever virtual edition of The Great North Run – will be taking place on 13th September and we want YOU to take part and raise funds for Mental Health Research UK!

Mental Health Research UK is encouraging supporters, of all ages and abilities, to take part in this fantastic challenge to help raise crucial funds for our COVID-19 psychological trauma PhD scholarship.

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week 2020, Mental Health Research UK launched a campaign to raise £120,000 for a new PhD research scholarship on psychological trauma arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. It's evident that COVID-19 is having a substantial impact on people’s mental health, and we need to better understand the impact of this in order to make sure that people receive the best treatment and support. For more information on this campaign please click here, and to donate please click here.

We need YOU to help us meet our goal of raising £120,000, and what better way to do this than by taking part in an exciting, free event that can be done anywhere in the world.


The official virtual Great North Run will take place on Sunday 13 September.

We are working in partnership with app provider ViRACE to create an innovative virtual experience with audio clips so that participants hear the sounds of the Great North Run, providing as close an experience as possible to the real event.

We will mimic a race format so that all runners start their virtual Great North Run at the same time and complete the same 13.1 mile distance.  Runners will be tracked throughout the virtual race and will be able to view results after the race has finished.

Entry Process

GNR Virtual will be available to enter free of charge and will be open to everyone, regardless of whether someone had a place in this year’s Great North Run.

Entries will open on the Great Run website from 10am on Monday 3 August. The link to enter is here.

How will it work?

More information about the app functionality and experience will be provided in the coming weeks.

What do participants get?

Participants will get free access to the race app to enjoy the official Great North Run experience.  As such, finisher mementos will not be included with entry, however a range of merchandise can be purchased within the entry process; this includes: official event medal, t-shirt, hoodie, water bottle, phone holder.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up now and keep us posted on your challenge on social media with #MHRUKCharity. We’ll also be adding pictures and stories from participants to our website. Good luck everyone!