Great North Run – 10th September 2023

by Brad Wight

Where to start? Safe to say from both a running and a weather perspective it was a right mixed bag!

All week the weather forecast was looking far from ideal for distance running. Brendan Foster wrote to runners saying “Sunday will not be a day for PB’s.” Well, what does he know?

I’ve counted NINE personal bests in the results, and there may be more as some of our newer members registered without a club name.

At the front end, starting right behind Mo Farah and the elites, Alex, Stan, Lee and Josh led the charge. In-form Alex was first over the line in a new PB of 1:19:32, Josh was further back but recorded a chip time only two seconds slower. Stan and Lee, like many others, were slowed up by the heat and came home in 1:20.

Sam Etherington was another PB’er – 1:22:23 no doubt helped by an extra long lie in! I ran with Ian Thompson and Rob Murdoch for three miles before giving up on my own PB attempt due to stiffness down the front of my shins. Ian was looking solid and kept up the effort all the way for a big PB of 1:35, closely followed by Lisa who ran one of the stand-out performances of the day in 1:36:36.

Matty Brimm, who’s improved considerably since joining the club last winter, ran 1:40:03 and there were big PBs for Phil Healey, Megan Race, Danny Oakley and Adam Newby too.

For most of the rest of us the heat and humidity put paid to ‘racing’ the GNR however it was still a great day out and no one should be disappointed in their time in those conditions. Sadly Nathan’s PB attempts were ended when he tripped on a discarded water bottle a few miles in but full credit to him for gritting his teeth and jogging and walking the rest of the course in what must have been very challenging circumstances.

The after party was a bit of a wash out, literally. A biblical downpour flooded Tyneside and overwhelmed a storm drain in the marquee where we were gathered. We ended up scattered all over the place but spirits remained high and, along with the magical mystery bus tour, it added to a fairly unique day out which won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

Well done all!