So you signed up for Great North Run, and you made it into the ballot. BOOM! You’re in! You’ve been training hard pounding the pavements over the past few months and now just ONE week away. So what can you expect? And what do you need to know…
It’s about now (or maybe in a few days time) when the nerves start to kick in. That’s TOTALLY normal, everyone gets them, but don’t worry. Keep calm, you’ve done the training, and I promise, the crowd carries you to the finish.
a busy (but excited) city!
No city gears up for its half marathon quite like Newcastle does and I absolutely love that. If you can, try and spend the Saturday beforehand in the town, soaking up the buzz - don’t miss the Great Run sign on the Tyne Bridge too - it makes me all fuzzy inside just seeing it! Also, it’s worth noting that if you’re planning on eating out to carb load the night before, book a table. Everyone has the same idea remember…PASTA!
lots of people
Great North Run is the world’s LARGEST half marathon remember so that’s a lot of people descending on one city and one start line. Public transport is really well managed but busy so think ahead and if you can, walk to the start line.
big queues for a wee (so leave plenty of time!)
…and likewise, the toilet queues can be pretty chaotic too. It’s a lot of people and a lot of PortaLoos! Don’t worry, they do go quick but it’s worth factoring that in time-wise - aka, don’t arrive at the start line 5 minutes before your wave time.
Don’t miss the red arrows - a sure highlight of Great North Run I tend to think! They fly overhead when you’re running so keep your eyes peeled (it will definitely make you smile and forget about the running) and they do the most amazing performance over the race village at the finish line in the early afternoon too, so it’s worth hanging about!
a varied route
The route for Great North Run is really varied. You start in the city, you go a bit out into the sticks, it gets a bit residential, you’re running on a bypass for a little while, then you end up near the sea at South Shields. You’ll never get bored!
celebs and big names
Celebs and faces you know come out in force for Great North Run. Keep your eyes peeled and for famous faces and the legend himself, Mo Farah!
It is the UK and you’ve got to be prepared. Plan for rain, sun, snow, heatwaves…just keep on running through!
the locals coming out in the droves
I think it’s the locals that really make Great North Run so special. Similar to London Marathon, you won’t go a single 100 metres without locals cheering you on, giving you high fives and plying you with Jelly Babies and ice pops. They really make it.
Along the route, there's everything from rock bands to gospel choirs and more to keep your spirits up! Look out for the Duracell Bunny pacers too who are their to give you a needed pick-me-up hug if you're flagging or a high five if you're flying, and the Duracell Power Zone where the music goes OFF. So fun!
an amazing endorphin high at the finish!
Ohhh, the high as you finish. Is there anything like it? Just wait - you’re in for a treat! BRING IT ON.