Sage 200: Powering the Great North Run

Great North RunThis weekend thousands of people from all over the world are descending on the North East of England to take part in one of the world’s most popular running events – the Great North Run. As the Red Arrows do their customary fly-past overhead, double Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah and four of his fellow British Olympic champions will start the race and send the runners – including our very own Sage 200 Pre-Sales consultants Susan Whiffin and Danny Broxup – off on the 13.1 mile trip from Newcastle to South Shields.

The Jewel in the Crown

The Great North Run is the second largest half-marathon in the world and is organised by sports management company Nova International. Established in 1988 by former Olympic medallist Brendan Foster, they specialise in mass participation sporting events, including road and trail races and open water swims. The Great North Run is, according to Accountant John Douglas, their “jewel in the crown”.

Working with the Sage team

Nova International has been a Sage customer since 1993 and has been using Sage 200 since 2007. John continues, “All of our events are essentially projects. It’s important that we’re able to analyse costs and income on a project by project basis, so Sage 200 was the perfect mix for us in terms of being able to analyse and report those costs on a timely basis.”

Since they’ve become familiar with the software, the finance team can now delegate more responsibility to individual project managers and give them visibility of their finances for individual events, as John explains: “Project leaders, responsible for delivering individual events now know their costs on a minute by minute basis.” That detailed view helps Nova keep tight control of ever changing budgets and allows them to analyse where savings can be made.

“We deliver world class events so it’s important to know that the financial systems we operate help us deliver that and I certainly feel that Sage does that.”

And helping deliver a world-class event like the Great North Run is what makes it so appealing to the thousands who sign up to run every year, like our Sage 200 Pre-Sales consultants, Susan Whiffin and Danny Broxup, both of whom have run before.

Crossing the finishing line

Susan, who’s running to support the charity Breathtakers, says: “I did the GNR for the first time last year to raise funds for charity. I’m no sportswoman and don’t find running particularly easy or enjoyable, so training was really tough. On the day I was terrified but when I walked up to the start line I got so swept up in the event – from the camaraderie between the runners, to the Red Arrows flying over us, to the phenomenal support from the crowds, to finally seeing the sea, crossing that wonderful finish line and being given my medal and t-shirt… the buzz didn’t wear off until several days later!”

And Danny says: “This year I’ll be running for St. Oswald’s Hospice and attempting to raise as much as I can.  Each year it never ceases to amaze me how many thousands of people are out on the day raising money for all their charities and personal reasons.  It’s a testament to the event and the region.”

Good luck to all the Great North runners this year 🙂

Simon Campbell, Sage 200 Team