Blue Runnings

Race Reviews, GPX files and more from North-East England

Great North Run


A week on and I think my knees have finally found their way home from South Shields! I was a bit stiff on Monday, and more so on Tuesday, but by Wednesday my legs were fine – so of course the machine at work went bang and I finished the week with very stiff arms instead! Ho-hum.

How was it? I hear you cry! This was the first time I’ve done the Great North Run, and it was definitely one I wanted to tick off the bucket list – if I’m going to run in the North-East, I have to have run the Blaydon Races and the Great North Run – I can now say I have survived both! Both were also ridiculously hot and sunny…

I’d surprised J in the car on the way to Leaze’s Park, where Mr J was kindly dropping us off, with a tutu of her very own as I know she has previous for coveting other’s tutus at other races 😛 She was running for the Great North Air Ambulance so was gifted a luminous green tutu, while I was in a black one with gold ribbons for the colours of the Blackhill Bounders.


We’d opted for leaving all our stuff with Mr J. rather than risking the crush of the baggage buses, so were walking down to the starting corrals as we were intending to run – it was somewhat cold. We joined the compulsory loo queue – fortunately before it got too long, and then found the corrals – or rather, we could see them, but not a clear way to get to them. With them essentially being on the motorway, it wasn’t exactly built for pedestrian access so in true direct style we hopped over the fence and down the slope! I think we must have walked a mile to get to our corral, we were starting from pink – the second to last corral and the start line wasn’t even in sight when we found it. Plenty of screens showing it, no sign of its physical presence!

It was at least heating up, our frozen fingers were a thing of the past as we cautiously sipped our pre-race water not wanting another trip to the portaloos, and praying it wasn’t going to heat up too much more. It had been cooling down nicely through September so of course race day had to be a throwback to a summer scorcher.

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Great Manchester Run

great-run-largeI booked the Great Manchester Run at the start of the year when I was trying to fill my calendar with at least one event a month to try and give myself something to aim for through the year and keep me getting my trainers on. P & I were originally going to book a weekend in Manchester and do it together, but it was booked before he went onto shift – and typically his first day shift was the same as the run, so rather than knocking myself out trying to drive down (and parking in Manchester centre when half the roads are shut?! No thank you!), I booked the train down and back and headed off after dropping P off at work.

Getting to Manchester was no problem at all, unsurprisingly the trains are rather empty at 9am on a Sunday morning, and knowing where I was going to get to the race start and the baggage drop off – and how to get round the busy race start zone to get to the bag drop at the other end really helped too! The first wave was heading off just as I got to the race area, and I had to actually cross the race route after they’d passed to get to where I was going. I’ve not used the baggage drop services at a race before really – I left my waterproof behind at the baggage place at the Thirsk 10, but that was it. I was a bit iffy about leaving my bag in the room – there wasn’t any real control or labelling, only people with race numbers were allowed in but that was it. Being a paranoid android, I had my phone, wallet and keys in a waist pouch with me and just left a change of clothes and book behind in my backpack.

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