Great Edinburgh run to expand despite Bupa exit

The Bupa Great Edinburgh Run has been an annual event. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
The Bupa Great Edinburgh Run has been an annual event. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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Organisers of some of the Capital’s most popular running events say they are aiming to expand despite losing their headline sponsor after 22 years.

Private health care provider Bupa has supported the prestigious Great Run series across Scotland but has decided to withdraw as title sponsor.

Thousands of joggers join elite athletes in the Great Edinburgh Run each autumn and the organisers also stage the Great Winter Run on Arthur’s Seat and the Great Edinburgh Cross-Country.

Nicky Homes, commercial director at Great Run, stressed that the change would not affect any of its events across Scotland, revealing that a new title sponsor would be announced in “due course”.

She said: “After a highly successful 22-year partnership, Bupa will no longer be the title sponsor of the Great Run series.

“We’re very grateful for their long-term support, which has helped make Great Run the UK’s most popular mass participation event series.

“Our long-term vision is to get one million people active every year by 2020.

“We’re excited about bringing new partners to the Great Run series, to help us deliver a substantial step-change in health and fitness in the UK over the next six years.

“We aim to make the ‘Great Run’ brand the essential 365 days a year running partner for Britain – whether people are taking part in the Great North Run or just fancy a regular jog around their local park.”

She added: “This change will not affect any of our popular events in Scotland and we’ll be announcing a new title sponsor in due course.”

Bupa thanked all the participants for their support over the years in raising cash for good causes.

In a statement, the firm said: “After 22 years of being the proud title sponsor of the Bupa Great Run series, it’s now time for us to move on.

“From everyone at Bupa, we want to thank you, our fantastic community of runners, for making each event so special.

“Whether you’ve taken part in the iconic Bupa Great North Run or the 5k runs, each and everyone one of you have played a part in the making the Bupa Great Run series the UK’s premier running event series.”

It added: “Not only have the runs helped people to get active, runners across the Bupa Great Run series have raised millions of pounds for some great causes. Over the last three years, Bupa has supported Diabetes UK to raise over £1.5 million and we’ve worked together to increase awareness of Type 2 diabetes and help identify people with the condition.

“This year, with your help, we also reached a running landmark; seeing the millionth finisher cross the finish line of the Bupa Great North Run.”

The Great Winter Run, on January 10, starts in Holyrood park and kicks off with the 2.5k Junior Great Winter Run followed by thousands of runners taking part in the 5k Great Winter Run.

This is followed by the Great Edinburgh Cross-Country, televised live on BBC One.

The Great Edinburgh Run on April 19 takes in city landmarks including Greyfriars Bobby and Edinburgh Castle.