17th September 2015 AUTHOR: dwhite CATEGORIES: Event Report

Great North Run 2015

While a great deal of our runners was at the Hull Marathon there was fair few who braved the travel north to represent EHH at the Great North Run:  Mike Petersen (1:37:54), Mark Starkey (1:29:45),  Anthea Eskrett (1:49:01), Tony Cross (1:32:15), Julie Barker (2:27:01) and David Cracknell (1:50:15). See below for a gallery of some of the finishers and a couple of articles from Mike Petersen and Mark Starkey.

Great North Run by Mike Petersen

Great North Run - Mike Petersen
Mike Petersen after successfully completing the Great North Run

So the good people of the great north run decided to let me in this year, at £52 it’s a tad expensive but I guess it’s one of them races you need to do, just a shame it clashed with our Hull Marathon MK2, I decided to swerve the Hull Marathon & as many runners comment I don’t do the long distances (pops to the post box to send off my Rudolph’s Romp entry form off !! )

My race prep was made ever so easy by the fact my sister lived round the corner from the finish line however having just come back from injury & not been 100% fit there’s was lots of umming & arring during the week as to whether I was going to race but after a great hill session with Pete Dearing on the Thursday night my mind was made up I would be heading up north on Saturday.

For the journey I prepared a special CD to fit in with the weekend so had a little Ant & Dec, Little Mix, Cheryl Cole & that crap one from x-factor, on my arrival it was great to be greeted by my nephews & niece. Pizza Hut was ordered for tea which actually took as long to come as my eventual race time nevertheless the Pepperoni feast went down a treat.

Race day

Woke up early with the usual nervous excitement that a race day always brings, my sister dropped me off the metro & this is my only negative of the weekend that there wasn’t enough trains in service as lots of people were at stops unable to get on trains as they were full, having had to wait for the next train I realised it would be tight to make the start time so blasted out my pre race tracks on the metro to get me in the zone, fortunately I made it with twenty minutes to spare & made my way to my pen & managed to get near the front to get a decent start.

The first 5k went really well & I was under my targeted time of 1 hour 40, the next 5k was not so good as my left calf started playing up so slowed the pace down to make it more comfortable, the 3rd 5k was a lot better at a nice steady pace still remaining at my target time, as the 9 mile mark approached I was flagging slightly but kind of expected this as it was my longest run since the North Lincs half, after taking some fluids onboard someone from behind ruffled my hair & after been nearly hit by a flying water bottle at the 6 mile mark I was ready to go ham on someone, i turned around & it was none other than our newly appointed track captain Tony Cross, it was great to see TC & a boost for myself for the last 4 miles. Just before the 12 mile point my sister & the kids were in position to cheer me along it was great to stop for a high five & a hug, as I turned the corner on to the seafront the support was unreal & got me home – overall I was really happy with my time of 1:37.54

Such a shame the highs of thousands of runners are dampened by the sad news of the passing of local runner David Colley – RIP – thoughts with his family.

Mark Starkey at mile 2 on the Tyne Bridge. Photo courtesy of the Newcastle Chronicle.
Mark Starkey at mile 2 on the Tyne Bridge. Photo courtesy of the Newcastle Chronicle.

Race report for Great North Run 2015 (Mark Starkey)

The Great North Run is the largest half marathon in the world and had its one millionth finisher last year. It is a race that gets many into the sport (including me) and often one where people will start running for charity. This year was no exception. There is a very large field of runners running for causes close to their hearts with many participants trying to outdo each other with crazy costumes. It is great to see, but it is also good to see a lot of club runners enter the event too.

Mark at the finish with his medal
Mark at the finish with his medal

Sadly, the club runner is very often overlooked in races such as this and the main focus is on the elite athletes or the charity runners. Having said that, spectator support along the route is the best I have witnessed for any race with the crowds turning out in all weathers. I often question the high entry fee for the event, but the experience more or less justifies it. The course isn’t easy either. It starts downhill and when you reach mile three you have to pay all of that back for the next two miles. The boost zone is still there on mile ten which helps with the motivation just before you reach another nasty hill at mile eleven. Once you hit mile twelve it’s a steady downhill to the finish – and a very well organised finish area. Sadly, the goody bag isn’t that great and this year was no exception.

All in all the race is on the expensive side to enter, and it takes an age to get there, park and transfer to the start. The crowd support however, is a very welcome payback. Would I do it again? Very likely.

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