Brendan Foster CBE

Superb British runner who invented the Great North Run

There’s no denying that Brendan Foster is not just a popular Olympic speaker but also a big name in British athletics, with the long-distance runner winning a gold medal in the 1978 Commonwealth Games and bronze in the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

Foster’s record in international championships includes two wins in the European Cup 5,000m in 1973 and 1975 and one in the European Cup 10,000m in 1979. In 1978, Brendan came first in the Commonwealth Games 10,000m and third in the 5,000m, in 1974 he was first in the 5,000m at the European Championships and second in the Commonwealth Games 5,000m. In 1972, he was fifth in the 1500m at the Munich Olympics‎ and four years later Brendan won a bronze in the 10,000m at the Montreal Olympics (while he came fifth in the 5,000m).

Foster really stood out at Montreal – the Olympic speaker was the only British track and field athlete to win a medal and he set an Olympic record in one of the heats. In that same year he received the MBE.

After he retired from professional sport, Brendan came up with a brilliant idea. Inspired by a race he ran in in Auckland, New Zealand – featuring 70,000 runners – Foster invented the Great North Run, the world’s largest half-marathon, which goes from Newcastle-upon-Tyne to South Shields, a coastal town near the mouth of the River Tyne. The Olympic speaker also joined Nike, first as UK managing director then European managing director, Vice-President Marketing (Worldwide) and Vice-President of Nike Europe. Foster then became chairman of his own company Nova International, which was renamed in 2015 to become The Great Run Company.

To book Brendan Foster for your next private event, corporate event or conference, contact Champions Olympic Speakers via our online form or call us on +44 1509 85 29 27.


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