Another year, another epic Great North Run! Seriously, no-one gears up for a race like Newcastle. The atmosphere all weekend was electric!
This was my second year running Great North Run, my sixth Great Run event, and my eleventh or twelve half marathon - I’m losing count! Working with the Great Run team as an ambassador, I’ve been building excitement for months, and this has been a big date in my diary for a long time!
Ed and I drove up after work on Friday and stayed at my parents - a rare but dreamy occurrence! We drove over to Newcastle on Saturday morning, a gorgeous drive through the Lake District… complete with veggie lasagne packed lunch, courtesy of my mum!
I wanted to make sure we spent ore time in Newcastle this time round, as last year, we literally only saw a glimpse. We went down to the Quayside, admired the epic Great North Run sign on Tyne Bridge, before getting pasta at Piccolino’s for tea and an early night in our hotel.
My dad was running too(!) so we met him and made our way to the start line. Being the world’s largest half marathon —57,000 people running! — the atmosphere was awesome at the start line, the big TV screens showing Mo Farah at the front of it all. Mad!
Performance and comfort wise, this definitely wasn’t my best half yet — I had pesky stitch from mile two, grr, but managed to keep it in check — but the atmosphere and the crowd made it amazing! I’m so used to running solo too, in fact I have done for every single race to date, so it was a nice change to get to run with my dad!
Great North Run is definitely has WAY more hills than people like to talk about. Granted, they aren’t the steepest (they’re no North London Half!) but they definitely very present! There’s a longish up-hill between mile 11 and 12, followed by short and steep decline, then what feels like the longest ever mile to the finish line! Felt so good to get over that line and get that medal!
After the race, it was pretty windy and I was absolutely freezing (I have a habit of pouring water all over me when I’m running to keep me cool but then I’m ice cold afterwards!) but we were able to warm up (and chow down on carbs!) in the hospitality tent afterwards — such a bonus!
We made our way back to town on the buses and had more food at our family friends’ house who live locally, before Ed and I made the long ol’ drive back to London with smiles on our faces.
If I can convince you to sign up to just one race, make it Great North Run. So good.