The 2019 Great North Run will take place on September 8 with coverage from 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM BST. While it’s too late to enter the event as a runner, you can still watch the action unfold live online. What’s more, we’ll even show you how to live stream the event for free with the help of a VPN.
We’re only recommending official sources to watch the Great North Run 2019. We don’t recommend unauthorized streams because they tend to be of poor quality with performance issues such as buffering and lag. Worse still, many unlicensed streams are taken down without notice, meaning you might miss out entirely. Fortunately, you don’t need to rely on unofficial streams because you can live stream the Great North Run online for free, even if you’re abroad (outside the UK).
Note that you’ll need a VPN to watch the event online if you’re outside of the UK.
How to watch the Great North Run live online for free
It’s easy to live stream the Great North Run 2019 for free. Below, we’ll walk you through what you need to do:
Using a VPN to watch the Great North Run online
- First, you’ll need a BBC iPlayer account. Signup is free and requires the creation of a username and password. You’ll also be asked to provide your date of birth, email address, country, and a UK postcode (any will work). While a UK TV license is also required, the BBC doesn’t actually verify whether you have one.
- If you’re located outside the UK, you’ll now need to sign up with an appropriate VPN service. We recommend ExpressVPN. However, NordVPN and CyberGhost also unblock BBC iPlayer and offer excellent value for money.
- Download and install the VPN, making sure to select the appropriate app for your device. The best VPNs also offer browser extensions.
- Open the VPN app or browser extension and connect to a server in the UK. This will provide you with a UK IP address capable of unblocking BBC iPlayer.
- Go to BBC iPlayer to watch the Great North Run online (note that you can also watch live TV coverage on BBC1 if you’re in the UK). If you’re having trouble, it’s worth clearing your browser’s cache and cookies to ensure BBC iPlayer forgets your actual IP address and location. You may also want to try another server in case the one you’re using has been blacklisted.
We recommend you test your VPN with BBC iPlayer in advance of the Great North Run 2019. This way, you can contact your VPN’s customer support ahead of time should you encounter any issues.
How to live stream the Great North Run online free on UK TV
If you’re in the UK, you can watch the Great North Run live on UK TV for free. The Great North Run 2019 will be broadcast live on BBC1, which means you can watch it either on traditional TV or on BBC iPlayer. Coverage will take place from 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM BST, and highlights will air on BBC2 from 5 PM to 6 PM BST.
BBC iPlayer is region-locked, but you can still watch the event for free if you’re abroad by connecting to a British server via a VPN in order to watch from abroad. ExpressVPN also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to stream the Great North Run risk-free.
Can I use a free VPN to watch the Great North Run 2019?
Unfortunately, most free VPNs struggle to unblock geo-restricted streaming services such as BBC iPlayer. Even if you find a free VPN that works, chances are that the poor performance will be an issue, particularly when live streaming HD video. Free VPNs have too many users and too few servers to meet demand. This results in slow speeds and performance issues that may lead you to miss out on the event entirely.
Another reason you should exercise caution when it comes to free VPNs is security. The best VPNs encrypt your data and protect your information from leaks. However, many free VPNs lack these essential security features. It’s also important to ask how free VPNs make money as in some cases the answer is “by keeping logs of users’ data and selling the information to the highest bidder”.
What should I know about the 2019 Great North Run?
The Great North Run first took place in 1981 and has since gone on to become the largest half marathon in the world. Some 57,000 participants are expected to make the 13.1-mile run in 2019. The race route starts on the north side of the city of Newcastle upon Tyne, cutting through the city center and across the famous Tyne Bridge. It then heads east towards the coast, finishing along the coastal road in South Shields.
The day starts with the Elite Wheelchair Races at 10:10 AM. This is followed by the Elite Women’s Race at 10:15 AM before the Elite Men’s Race and Main Race at 10:40 AM. The men’s course record is held by Martin Mathathi (Kenya) who finished with a time of 58:56 in 2011. Mary Keitany (Kenya) holds the women’s course record after obtaining a time of 65:39 in 2014.
Who are the favorites to win the Great North Run 2019?
Mo Farah (Great Britain) is one of the favorites to win the men’s race, having won the Great North Run a record five years in a row (2014–2018). Current women’s record holder, Mary Keitany, has won the race three times (2014, 2015, and 2017) and is expected to challenge again in 2019 while fellow Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot won in 2016 and again most recently in 2018.