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The Great North Run is the biggest mass participation event in Britain and one of the biggest half marathons in the world.

Additionally, many of the runners who gain a place in the marathon via the ballot also raise money for charities – in total more than three quarters of competitors now run for a good cause, collectively raising more than £50 million annually.

The London Marathon has had one or two official charities every year since.

As charity involvement grew, the organisers decided to offer more places to a wider range of charities and, in 1993, introduced the Golden Bond scheme.

The origins can be traced to the 1908 Olympic Games, when the Olympic movement visited Britain for the first time.

Over 2,000 athletes competed in a variety of disciplines, including the first ever marathon to be held in London.

But during the 80’s cycling was also growing in popularity, with the launch of the London to Brighton Bike Ride.

The race – which is now British Heart Foundation’s flagship fundraising event – was started by street performer Robert Stredder and his partner, who gathered 34 members from their cycle club to ride the 54-mile route in 1975.

It’s unknown how much money was raised by runners taking part in ‘The Poly’.