If there is a distance run in the UK that challenges the London Marathon for the mantle of public favourite, it has to be the Great North Run.
It is, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, “the world’s biggest half marathon”.
It all takes place in the beautiful and hugely hospitable north-east of England, where runners get to enjoy the spectacular sights of Tyneside and the North Sea Coast while enjoying all the atmosphere the London Marathon can generate and then some.
But while the Great North Run is very much a British institution, it is not widely streamed overseas. This means it can be tough to tune in and watch the Great North Run if you are not in the UK.
The good news is that there is a way around this, but you will need a little help. Don’t fret: we have all the information you need right here.
When and where is the Great North Run taking place?
As always, the Great North Run is taking place on Tyneside, centred on the city of Newcastle upon Tyne.
The run begins on the Town Moor, from where it heads south across the iconic Tyne Bridge and then past the Gateshead International Stadium, the home of athletics in the north east of England.
From there, it winds its way through South Tyneside before runners reach the coast and run the final mile and a half along the sea to the finish in South Shields.
Runners can expect packed crowds along the way and a whole host of different entertainment to keep spirits and energy up.
What you need to watch the Great North Run
In the UK, the Great North Run will be broadcast live on the BBC, with coverage usually split between BBC One and BBC Two.
The action will also be streamed live and on-demand on the BBC iPlayer, but unfortunately if you’re overseas, this is not available outside the UK.
But with a little help from an app called a ‘VPN‘, it is possible to unblock the BBC iPlayer and enjoy all the action from the Great North Run.
A VPN can be used to make it look like you’re in the UK by connecting to a ‘UK server’ which masks your real location. So, all you have to do is connect to a VPN and best of all the app does all the work for you.
Where to get a VPN to view?
This is the hard part as there are lots of VPNs out there, but not all are right for unblocking the BBC iPlayer.
ExpressVPN is the best choice.
It has hundreds of UK servers to choose from and also offers super-fast speeds, which makes it perfect for streaming. It is one of the few VPNs that is still able to unblock the BBC iPlayer, and with great apps for all your devices and a 30-day money-back guarantee, it really is the standout choice.
However, the choice is yours and you’re free to take your pick.
30-day money back guarantee
How to live stream the Great North Run outside the UK
Once you have selected your VPN, it’s simple to set things up to enjoy the Great North Run.
All you need to do is follow our step-by-step guide, which uses ExpressVPN as an example:
Head to the ExpressVPN website and choose your preferred VPN subscription package. We recommend the 12-month deal, which comes with 3 extra months free and a cool 49% discount.
Once you have signed up, download and install the ExpressVPN app on to your device from either their website or your official app store.
Open the ExpressVPN app and sign in to your ExpressVPN account.
Click Selected Location and then choose the United Kingdom, then lastly press the Connect button.
Wait a few seconds while ExpressVPN establishes a connection.
Visit the BBC iPlayer website or open the app, sign into your account and enjoy the Great North Run either live or on-demand.
30-day money back guarantee
What is the Great North Run all about?
Like most major road races, the Great North Run can be broken down into two distinct types of events: the elite races and the mass participation event.
The elite Great North Run attracts some of the biggest names in road running. In the Men’s race, the British elite runs have had it sewn up for some time now. Marc Scott won in 2021, while Mo Farah won the previous six consecutive events.
Prior to that, legends of the sport, including Wilson Kipsang, Haile Gebrselassie, and course record holder Martin Mathathi have all tasted victory.
In the ladies’ race, it is the Kenyans who have dominated, with Hellen Obiri taking victory last year and Mary Keitany (3 times), Vivian Cheruiyot (twice), and Brigid Kosgei all winning in recent years.
The wheelchair races have been dominated by British competitors in both the men’s and women’s categories, with notable success for David Weir, Sean Frame, Shelly Woods, and Jade Jones-Hall in recent years.
But it is the mass race where much of the focus will lie as amateur runners from across the UK and beyond look to complete the course, either for the sense of achievement it brings or to raise money for a whole host of worthwhile charities.
For fun runners, there is also a 10k option and even a kid’s race too.
You won’t want to miss a moment of either the elite race or the family fun of the Great North Run. And the good news for those people outside the UK is that with a VPN, you don’t have to.
All you need to do is sign up for ExpressVPN, download the app, connect to a UK-based server, and then you will be able to enjoy every moment of the action on the BBC iPlayer, either live or on-demand.
This is one of the most compelling half marathons in the world. Don’t miss out on all the excitement and fun of the Great North Run.
✔ Quick to set up
✔ Money back guarantee
30-day money back guarantee