Great North Run Report
11 MRC members made the way ooop north to run the Great North Run.
For some it was the first time, for others it was another opportunity to experience the worlds biggest half marathon event.
Dotted across the city we all stayed in a variety of hotels, b and b’s and camp sites. Some even drove up that morning.
Myself, Emma, Robert and Kathryn camped at the National Trust Lighthouse at a temporary site.
It could have been a disaster but the weather was kind, the views were beautiful and it was almost tempting to crack open the wine and forget the run the next morning!
We were up ridiculously early to catch the bus to the start line – the start of a very long day and a lot of miles about to cover.
Plans to meet up were somewhat thwarted by the need to queue for toilets, drop off bags and finding your place in the correct colour of the start line – a start line that goes on for about a mile.
On the large screens the front runners were off at 10.40am – and being midpack meant I knew from previous experience I wouldn’t be crossing that line for at least another 20minutes.
It’s weird as whilst watching the screens you feel like you’re watching a completely different event.
Finally at 11.05am I started, making sure I got a high five with Ingrid Christianson. The Red Arrows flew over, then it’s the Oggy Oggy Oggy in the tunnels and then the iconic run over the Tyne Bridge.
The start lines merge and suddenly there’s even more people than before and your ability to get any decent running rhythm disappears. At mile 5 we were stopped completely as a fellow runner was carried off the course in need of urgent medical attention – a very sobering moment.
I opted to take it steady, enjoy the run, walk through the ‘showers’ (it was warm) and water stations.
More ambulances came through and then at mile 9 I high fived Dame Tanni Grey Thompson whilst the Red Arrows started to perform their display over the finish area.
Finally I was able to get a decent mile in – mile 12! Running along towards the finish line I couldn’t help but then think of the long slog back to the tent – which needed packing away. I should have enjoyed the finish line more but I was shattered - my slowest half ever.
Amongst the crowd I found Emma and after collecting bags (another trek – the wrong way to our camp) we started the walk to along the coastal path (which was lovely) but exhausting.
We got packed away, and began the journey home. Stopping at the services on the M1 was funny, mainly as it was utter carnage! So many people walking like John Wayne but all giving each other a smile and that look of ‘…I know your pain…but well done’.
Catching up on our MRC GNR WhatsApp group it’s clear that some had ‘fast’ runs (starting nearer the front) and most of us appeared to have covered around 18-20miles that day.
But we did it, some will do it again, some won’t.
If you fancy entering the ballot (opens in January) then there’s a reminder service which you can sign up to here:GNR Official Website
And if you want to borrow my tent you’re more than welcome 😊