Tyne & Wear

Great North Run 'unaffected' by Bupa sponsor withdrawal

Runners take part in the GNR Image copyright John Giles/PA
Image caption The first Great North Run was held in 1981 and more than one million people have now completed it

Organisers of the Great North Run said next year's event will be unaffected by Bupa's decision to stop sponsoring the half marathon.

The private health firm has supported the event for the past 22 years but has now said September's run was its last.

Nova International, organisers of the event, thanked Bupa for their years of support.

Bupa has withdrawn its sponsorship of all the events in the Great Run Series.

Saj Arshad, Bupa's UK and marketing strategy director, said: "The partnership is one of the longest in sport and has been a tremendous success but, following a review of our sponsorship and brand strategy, we have decided that it is the right time for a change."

In a post on the Great North Run Facebook page, Nova International said: "[We] would like to thank Bupa for their sponsorship of the Great Run Series over the last 22 years.

"We will be announcing a new partner in due course and we would like to reassure [participants] that the change will have no effect on our events which will progress as planned."

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