Blue Runnings

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

Great North Run

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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 πŸ˜› 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.

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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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North Tyneside Road Race – 10km – A Taste of Summer

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What a gloriously sunny day for a run! A positively tropical 12ΒΊC and clear blue skies for Easter Sunday. It makes a massive contrast to the horrible snow and hail we were running in only last Tuesday – I can’t believe it was less than a week ago! I made it to the leisure centre at North Shields early enough to nab an on-site parking space and then loitered around there – without a jacket on, or tied around my waist in my usual ridiculous ways! I’d not even taken one with me, my hoody was in the car but that wasn’t even an option for running in. I had my buff on my head, but I’d been fine with that on muggy Saturday’s morning run. And the great thing? Even while standing around outside the sports centre for 40 minutes I wasn’t cold! Unheard of for the cold North on an April morning! I was running really lightly laden for me – only a tiny waist pouch with phone, dextrose tablets, keys and a small amount of cash – normally for a 10k I take the bigger bum-bag with the bottle pouch, but this time with there being a water station in the middle I didn’t bother with it – and of course made myself psychologically thirsty at the start line without it and had to visit the water fountain a few times!

The North Tyneside 10k is a road race from North Shields to St Mary’s Lighthouse and follows right along the coast, the views were fab, and with the exception of a bit of a pig of a hill by Tynemouth Priory, which I’ve only ever seen from further up the coast and never been to, the route was pretty much flat or downhill for the whole stretch. I still don’t think I can say I’ve been there – I know nothing about its history or anything, but as with Penshaw Monument, I have been ignorant from a much nearer distance! I’ve been to Whitley Bay before, but only to the Sea Life Centre or for a walk along the beach from about halfway between the aquarium and the lighthouse – and never in the direction of the lighthouse, so I’ve probably only covered maybe 2.5 miles of this stretch of coastline.

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