Great North 10k Race Recap

On Sunday SB and I ran the Bupa’s Great North 10k in Gateshead.  Our game plan was to take it easy, and enjoy running together rather than focussing on getting a particular time. The night before we had been very responsible runners out for a few drinks in Newcastle, which was really fun, but maybe not the best prep…  When we woke up, it was pouring with rain, and there was no sign of the sun we’d enjoyed the day before. So, you know, the day wasn’t off to a great start. We arrived at the race 90 minutes early as someone read the information incorrectly (who would do such a thing?), which meant there was loads of time to take selfies and get ready.

 

SB and Crazy Eyes

SB and Crazy Eyes

 

There were four starting categories, and we were in white which was second one off. We crossed the start line, and the first three kilometres were not exactly thrilling as we ran through the Gateshead industrial estate. Even though the conditions weren’t the best, in my book the buzz of taking part in an event definitely outweighs a crappy route or weather. In spite of what may read like whining and complaining, my mood was sky high, I promise!

 

After kilometre three, the track met the river, and we were running by the Tyne. Here we we had fantastic views of Newcastle, the Tyne Bridge, and the Millenium bridge which were made all the more dramatic by the grey skies. Kilometres 3-8 are along the river in an out-and-back path, with one small incline. I loved the out-and-back as it meant that we passed all the elites (or rather they passed us!), including Stephen Kiprotich! Amazing. He ended up winning it in 29:39. Maybe next year, if I eat all my weet-a-bix….

 

The final two kilometres took us through a narrow path surrounded by trees, and up towards the Gateshead International Stadium. The race ended with a lap around the stadium – a great way to finish a race as you feel like a champion. SB and I finished in 50:20, which we were pleased with. The rain didn’t really subside, but I quite like running in the rain, and it helped with the humidity.

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Aw I love being part of a running group. One of the spectators supporting us took this :)

 

We both liked this event – it was well organised, the route was mostly scenic, the stadium finish was fun, and most importantly: the medal, t-shirt and goody bag were all good. If I was to be really picky I’d say that at times the course was a little narrow and congested, so not great for any PB-chasers. 

 

I also learned an important lesson that day: when posing for post-race jumping pics, make sure you take your medal off if you don’t want a nice bruise on your forehead.

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Following the race, we went to brunch and celebrated the only way I know how: with a chocolate milkshake. And banana pancakes. And coffee.

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Ellie B

Why Kiprotich isn’t as famous as Rooney

Today I read this article. It’s so true that running has never been more popular – here I am sat on the train and I just saw a blur of multicoloured running vests running down a country lane. Forget tractors – running groups are the car’s new nemesis.

If I think about the distance runners that I know, I run out pretty quickly: Mo Farah, Paula Radcliffe, The-Olympic-Winner-Whose-Name-Begins-With-K…. Sally Gunnell …(ok, I know she’s not a distance runner. And there are way too many English names on that list – my Aussie subconscious is so mad right now).

Australian Jessica Trengove, 39th place in the 2012 Olympics. She means business. And I am proud.

Here’s an Aussie: Jessica Trengove, 39th place in the 2012 Olympic Marathon. She’s having a ball. And I am proud.

The article says that there are three main issues: money, the ability to relate, and the distinction between a hobby and “serious” running.

I googled "serious running" and got this. I like it!

I Googled “serious running” and got this. I like it!

I agree with money. Footballers’ appearences in the media are fuelled by their money as much as their skill. Not a week goes by when we aren’t reading about new hair transplants, or he who is meant to have had an affair but we’re not allowed to talk about it.

And I agree with being relatable. Being able to relate to our heroes is important, or else they might not be our heroes. There has to be something that we spot and think “that’s like me! I do that!” I have a sneaky feeling that when we watch the successes of the African champions, many of us are thinking “yeah, but long distance is part of their lifestyle“. As if our lifestyle is so alien to long distance that it’s all we can do to shower each day.

Personality comes into it as well. When I think of Mo Farah, I see his face when he realises he’s won. Tennis is the rivalry between the four Big Guns*, and their different approaches to the court. In particular Andy Murray’s misunderstood grumpiness. And who can forget Muhammad Ali’s charismatic taunts?

Which country had the T-Rex on their team? Isn't that cheating?

Which country had the T-Rex on their team? Isn’t that cheating?

For me, it’s a combination of all, so I think the writer has done pretty well! There are some awesome pole superstars out there, but at least you can learn an isolated move that you’ve seen your hero do. In running, there’s the distance – and running your target distance is an amazing achievement – but for me, the pace will always mean I view our running champions as different specimens to me. But in the 2012 Olympics – I was gripped by the end of the marathon when the Ugandan Kiprotich pulled away from the Kenyan runners, so it does exist if we have the opportunity and the desire to get behind the sport (I may have Wikipedia-ed his name. Whatever). 

2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Stephen Kiprotich, Uganda

2012 Olympic Gold Medalist for the Marathon, Stephen Kiprotich, Uganda.

Earlier on in the year, I read this article in Runner’s World, and it really struck a chord with me: Julius Achon‘s running story and subsequent work with orphans is more commendable than anything I could hope to achieve in my lifetime. There are times when there are definite cultural/lifestyle differences between athletes, and these shouldn’t be ignored but celebrated and highlighted.

And now that’s done with, let’s talk Wimbledon. I am extremely upset that Nadal is out already.

Poor Nadal yesterday :(

Poor Nadal yesterday :(

He is my favourite of the top 4 because he is so serious, and is a great defence player. Plus, and this is obviously low down on the list, he has nice arms. Now I don’t know who to cheer for – the tortured Murray or the smooth Djokovic?

Ellie B

Click here to find out more about Julius Achon’s Uganda Children’s Fund. 

Who is your favourite Athlete/Sports person? 

What do you think about Runners in the world of fame and sports?

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Hang in there Nadal! You’ll be back!

* The tennis four Big Guns are: Nadal, Djokovic, Murray and Federer. But the biggest of these is Nadal. Apart from right now.