I ran the 13.1 miles for ‘The Firefighters Charity’ starting in Newcastle centre with the route taking in the Tyne Bridge, passing through Gateshead and then finishing on the North East coast in South Shields by a beautiful sandy beach!
We were lucky enough to fly up and stayed in the Premier Inn next to the airport and Metro line. The hotel staff fully embraced the GNR event and provided complimentary water, bananas, safety pins, etc at reception. Plus Bucks fizz and chocolates when checking out!
The Metro line was straight forward and only cost £5 for a day ticket. There were coaches available to drop your bags and this service went smoothly, picking up our gear at the other end was easy after the race and large tents were available to get washed and changed. It was a busy start to the run and took us half an hour to even move to the Start line but we enjoyed the Red Arrows flying over at the beginning and then again at the end of the run.
The run started off in two lanes then merged and it did become rather congested in places. There were Duracell Bunnie pacers around so you could follow them to achieve a particular finish time.
The crowd were very supportive the whole way giving out Jelly babies, oranges and ice pops. There were also bands playing, water stations, showers and even beer at mile 9!
I had booked a free post race massage with Simply Health in advance and it was a decent session which sorted out my hip aches, so really worth doing. We then enjoyed a lovely sunny walk along the beach to find that Beer and sit down to enjoy fish n chips before calling an uber taxi back to the hotel as time getting tight to catch our flight.
I have not run a half marathon in about 15 years so I was very nervous and just wanted to run 10 min/mile pace and finish in time to see the Red Arrows fly over the finish line and I am pleased to say I achieved that so feeling Proud. My family used The Great Run App to track me throughout the run so that was exciting for them all too.
A great experience and I would highly recommend to anyone for 2019 as the whole city is very proud of the GNR and you will receive a warm northern welcome everywhere.