ENTRANTS to this year’s Great North Run are being warned about selling their places to other would-be competitors.
Dozens of places for this Sunday’s event are on sale on internet auction website eBay.
Race organisers are advising people about the dangers of passing their entry on and said those doing so face expulsion from any future Great North Run or other Bupa-organised event.
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A spokesman for the world’s biggest half-marathon said one of the most serious issues was from those who had individual medical needs.
Some numbers feature a red dot which indicates a specified condition to assist medical teams in case of emergency.
He added that at this late stage, people buying numbers may have not done the required amount of training to run 13 miles.
The spokesman added that in one extreme example, a runner who had exchanged numbers collapsed and died during a Bupa race.
He said: “At a previous event we had someone running in someone’s else race number unfortunately collapsed and died and we couldn’t identify the individual.
“It even got to the stage where we were knocking on the wrong door. Unfortunately exchanging numbers is an irresponsible exercise.”
For the first time this year, entrants’ names are printed on their number. Runners also fill in contact and emergency details on the reverse.
Many entries are available on eBay, including some featuring the red dot. One place was advertised at £80 – nearly double the official entry cost.
The spokesman added: “This is something we take very seriously.
“We monitor and track it and we take steps to try and contact any individual who is seen to be trying to sell their individual numbers and warn them of the terms and conditions.
“We are in protracted discussions with eBay themselves to see if we can ensure it gets stopped at source.
“However, I think it would be naive to believe we can eradicate it completely, even if we stop it on Ebay. That does not stop selling it down their local pub.”
This year’s race has attracted a record entry of more than 100,000 in the ballot process – 54,000 runners will take part.
Organisers have stressed that anyone unable to compete because of injury or other reason can defer their entry.
The Northern Echo tried to contact eBay for a comment, but no one was available.
Sunday’s race from Newcastle to South Shields starts at 10.10am, with the mass start at 10.40am.
For more details, particularly about deferment, see your runner’s pack or visit greatrun.org
■ A FORMER professional footballer is running this year’s Great North Run to raise money for his club’s youth development.
Craig Liddle, former Darlington Football Club midfielder and the trust’s vice-president, will run the half-marathon, and the money he raises will go to Darlington FC’s youth development.
The trust is also raising money for the club’s youth development via a lottery scheme and sponsorship.
A spokesman said: “We’ve already given a significant amount of sponsorship to youth development but we want this to continue.”
To sponsor Mr Liddle, visit darlotrustdsg.co.uk