On Sunday SB and I ran the Bupa’s Great North 10k in Gateshead. Â 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… Â 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.
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,Â 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.
We both liked this event – it was well organised, the route was mostly scenic, the stadium finish was fun, andÂ mostÂ 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.Â
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.
Following the race, we went to brunch and celebrated the only way I know how: with a chocolate milkshake. And banana pancakes. And coffee.