Great North Run 2013 – Our Review
Kim Parr set the tone. Let’s enjoy ourselves. Others followed the theme – as became clear as the runners came in.
First man in was Gary Thwaites at 1 hr 31 min. This is Gary’s 6th Great North Run but the first time he has led our field. He was followed a few seconds later by Peter Clegg, then by Dave Knowles and Andrew Knox.
Then almost together at 1 hr 36 min came Melanie Carlton, Kieran Head and Matthew Cartwright.
The next ladies to arrive after Melanie were Gemma Carter (1 hr 41), Rachel Fawcett (1 hr 46),
Becky Beattie (also 1 h 46) and Claire Swift (1 hr 49).
But not everyone can skip round in less than 2 hours and then go off for a game of tennis. For many, just getting round at all is the reward in itself – the reward for months of training, aching legs, blisters and self-denial. They are only here today from sheer determination to help defeat the curse of MND.
For the second year in succession, Keith Hall (running his 22nd GNR) took 2nd position in the overall Great North Run 70-74 age-category, with his time of 1 hr 46. For Ted Ferguson it was his 21st GNR and he produced a time of 1 hr 39. Also of mature years was Richard Robinson who first did the GNR some years ago. He now has MND but still runs.
To some, the Great North Run is not enough of a challenge. For example, Esther Brown had already done a 2k swim on the Friday and a 70 mile cycle ride on the Saturday.
For Keith Johnson it was Mad September: Middlesbrough 10k on the 8th, GNR on the 15th followed by the Loch Ness Marathon on the 28th in which he achieved a time of 4 hrs 20.
For Rob McCargow this was just the 7th of 10 fundraising events he is taking part in during 2013, so far raising £4,600 in the process. And Eric the Mascot has accompanied David McCauley and team-mate Rosalie McSwiggan on a whole number of expeditions, including up Kilimanjaro.
The Association’s Thumb’s Up symbol ran the GNR this year, worn by Paula McGuire:
Lego Man ran for us too, not someone to be easily overlooked. Inside was Craig Thompson, who once again showed that he doesn’t believe in doing things the easy way:
Another attention-grabbing character was Bill Brock the Badger, inhabited by James Elliot:
But for attention-grabbing in a different style it was hard to beat sisters Annette Robson and Karen Whelan. Last year they ran in standard running gear (below left), part of the crowd. And this year…………….?
And just to emphasise the new image they were accompanied by two young men (Annette’s son Scott and Lewis Aitken) wearing tutus.
Only slightly less flamboyant in their appearance were Anne-Marie Jordan, Hannah Mitchell
and our regular glamour-girls Jasmin Boyes and Samantha McVey.
Reactions to the roadside camera ranged from a shy smile ……….
…………… to a friendly wave ……………
…………… to a variety of highly enthusiastic greetings:
There was a good number of family teams. Several parents had brought their little ones. Or maybe the little ones had brought their parents.
Archna Devesher was with her son Varun and Gillian Bell was with her daughter Rachel Fawcett:
Four dads were there with their sons – James Worrall with Ben, Leslie Boucher with Garth ; Mark Cartwright with Matthew, Stan Snowball with Andrew:
And Paul Branley was there with his daughter Sarah:
Ed Carroll was accompanied by his sisters Rachel Bowie and Joanna Brown.
There were sisters Laura and Kim Parr, and Annette Robson and Karen Whelan as mentioned above and there were two pairs of brothers:
The Pennington family was there in strength – Rachel, Phillip, Ian and Jamie Pennington with Trish Hadden and Mark Perrett. They were in party mood and determined to have a memorable day:
But for all the laughter – and the MNDA Welcome tent is always the scene of a lively social gathering – remembrance is never far below the surface. Almost everyone there knows or remembers someone with MND. Often this memory is carried for all to see, as here by Melanie Casson and Becky Beattie and by Kevin Hillman:
For Gary Smith the Run turned out to be even more memorable than planned. Soon after completing the Run he was taken ill and carried off to hospital, where he was operated on for appendicitis.
Something interesting we learned from this event: the numbers of our male and female runners are almost exactly equal. Is that a surprise? Or not?
Another thing we learned – Laurence Salvietto is ambidextrous:
The Great North Run is one of the biggest events of the year, both for the Association and for many of those running for us. You – our runners together with your families, friends, lovers, colleagues and other supporters – are essential in keeping it as a major contributor in the fight against MND. You are all needed and valued.
MND Association Needs You!
~ All roadside photos by Ken Durose
~ All photos at the Finishing Point by Marian Dent