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The RNLI is calling on own place runners in the Great North Run for support

Lifeboats News Release

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is calling on all own place runners in the Great North Run to consider running for the charity that saves lives at sea.

The famous half marathon will be taking place on Sunday 11 September and the RNLI is hoping that people who aren’t already supporting a good cause will be sponsored for the RNLI to help raise vital funds.

79-year-old Alan Norman from Bury in Lancashire has run on behalf of the RNLI for the last three years and will be supporting the charity again this year.

Alan explained: ‘After I had a triple heart bypass in 2010 I decided to take up walking to help improve my health. I began walking with friends once a week and really got the exercise bug. Within a year I had reached a level of fitness that enabled me take on the Manchester 10K and I then looked for further challenges.

‘The Great North Run seemed like the ideal next step and I have never looked back. I walk and jog the route but I always finish.  The year before last I achieved a personal best of 2 hours 59 minutes and 56 seconds.

‘I have always had a keen interest in the RNLI and over the years I have visited Cullercoats Lifeboat Station and shop many times. After taking a tour of the boathouse, I was really inspired by what the volunteer crew members do and how they selflessly risk their own lives to save others in peril on the sea. When I started doing the Great North Run the RNLI was the natural choice of charity to support.’

Alan added: ‘I really enjoy running for the RNLI and their cheering squad offers support and encouragement all the way round the route. Running in the charity’s vest gives me a real sense of pride and I’d certainly urge any own place runners to consider supporting such a worthwhile cause.’

Jenna Bowden, RNLI Marketing Coordinator said: ‘We really value the vital support from runners like Alan. Running for the RNLI is a really rewarding experience, knowing that every step is helping to save lives at sea. We’d love it if like-minded people signed up as soon as possible to run on our behalf.’

Each person who runs for the RNLI using their own place will receive a branded running vest, a goodie bag and revitalising snacks and drinks after the race. There is no minimum fundraising pledge.

Own place runners can sign up to support the charity by visiting our running events page.

RNLI media contacts
For more information, please contact Clare Hopps, RNLI Press Officer, North, on 07824 518641 or at

RNLI Picture caption
The photograph shows Alan Norman in his RNLI running vest.

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland