I was looking forward to the Great North Run as I was running with my sister and we were raising money for the local hospital where I grew up and all but my nuclear family still live. My sister only really runs short distances so this was a big step up for her and she struggled with training in the heat but got 13.1 in a few weeks ago and was confident going in to the race.
As we were released from our pen we had a mix of rain and sunshine with the heat growing through the run. Our wave set off in high spirits with lots of shouts of Oggy Oggy Oggy (Oi Oi Oi) when we ran through underpasses and going over the Tyne bridge was great. The crowds were fantastic all the way round the course offering support to all the runners. It was really good to see The Red Arrows as they did several fly overs for us. My sister struggled with some of the hills but did me proud with a super strong finish even though she was tired and I loved seeing the determination on her face when things got tough.
I only had a couple of things I didn’t enjoy. The course was rammed full and you spent most of the run weaving in and out of a huge number of people walking. Everything was just too crowded from the start to picking up medals and getting home. It was a very long day too, it started at my sisters house in North Yorkshire at 5:30am and ended up back home in Sandhurst at 11:00pm. If you’re thinking of running, I’d suggest staying locally if possible, South Shields isn’t laid out for 70,000 people to try and leave at the same time. It was fun to do, but I don’t know if I’d give it a go again.