The health insurance company Bupa has chosen Diabetes UK as the charity partner for the Great Run Series in a partnership that could be worth more than £1m a year to the charity.
The partnership – which will commence in 2012 – is for an indefinite period, although Bupa traditionally works with a Great Run Series charity partner for three years.
Eighty charities expressed an interest in becoming the Bupa Great Run charity partner.
Ten of those charities were asked further questions by the organisation, a Bupa spokeswoman said, before this was whittled down to five charities that were invited to pitch for the partnership.
The entire process took place in the past three months. Diabetes UK was chosen because the charity "inspires healthy behaviour changes in people" and encourages people to run, according to the Bupa spokeswoman.
The partnership means that Bupa will help the charity in PR work and also ask its staff to run in aid of Diabetes UK. In addition, Diabetes UK branding will appear at Great Run events.
Meanwhile, when runners apply to take part in Great Run events, a box inviting entrants to be contacted by Diabetes UK with a view to running for the charity will be automatically ticked. Entrants will have to uncheck the box if they do not wish to be contacted.
Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: "Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing the UK today, and physical activity helps people reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and to manage their diabetes to reduce complications.
"The fundraising efforts of runners will go a long way in helping Diabetes UK continue to support people diagnosed with diabetes, fund research into finding a cure and tackle the potential time bomb of the seven million people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes."
Bupa has sponsored the Great Run Series for 19 years. Over 160,000 people take part in Great Run events every year. The events consist of seven races in England and Scotland, including the world’s largest half marathon, the Bupa Great North Run, and Europe’s biggest 10 mile race, the Bupa Great South Run. Each year the events raise more than £27m for the 270 charities involved.