Belper Bananas, Pigs and Superheroes Wanted for Great North Run

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The British Red Cross in Derbyshire is making an unusual plea: for bananas, pigs, bears, giraffes, dinosaurs, and ‘celebrities’ to take part in the Great North Run for the charity.

The Great North Run is the world famous half marathon that goes from Newcastle to South Shields and takes place on Sunday 7 September. The Red Cross still has a limited number of guaranteed charity places left for this event.

Alex Gadsby, Community Fundraiser for the Red Cross in Derbyshire, said: “Taking on an event like the Great North Run is brilliant anyway. But if you do it in fancy dress it is so much more fun. You feel like a hero as the crowd roars that much louder as you run by (or waddle by, depending on costume), and your fellow runners shout encouragement too. Plus, you’ll probably be photographed for the papers and even shown or interviewed on the telly!

“If your friends know you’re going to run as a banana, Superwoman or Peppa Pig they’ll probably sponsor you more as well - which has the serious side of meaning the British Red Cross can help more people in Derbyshire and overseas whose lives have been devastated by crises and disasters.”

One past participant Max Newton said he knows this to be true, since he was sponsored to complete the Great North Run dressed as ex-Derby captain and TV celebrity Robbie Savage - despite being a hardened Forest fan.

Max said:

“I ran with in full Derby County kit (he was the Rams’ captain at the time), football boots, long blonde wig, cardboard Savage mask, and inflatable sheep.”

“Despite disliking Mr Savage intensely I got a tremendous reception from both spectators and fellow runners - mixed in with the odd bit of colourful language!”

“It also helped me raise over £1500 for the Red Cross, which was fantastic, and far more than I’d raised running the London Marathon the year before.”

Every Red Cross runner receives excellent support - including training and race advice from start to finish, a comprehensive sponsorship pack and expert fundraising support, and their very own Red Cross running vest or T-shirt. All members of the Red Cross running team will be able to enjoy a post-race reception and massage.

Red Cross runners will be asked to raise sponsorship of £300 for the charity in return for a Great North Run place, and there is a £49 registration fee. Fancy dress is not provided. Nor is it compulsory.

To secure your place on the Great North Run visit or contact Alex Gadsby on 0115 852 8016 or