Great North Run Review 2015
Our Review of the Big Day
More photos of this year’s Run are in our gallery.
Our first man in was Gethin Jones with a time of 1 hr 31 min 26 sec. Our first lady in, with a time of 1.40.05 was – his wife, Sian! This must be some kind of a record. Sian was then interviewed for TV by athletics legend Colin Jackson.
Other fast finishers included Max Applegarth (1.33), Mark Greenfield (1.35) and Helen Barber (1.41).
For some supremely fit types a half-marathon is a breeze. For most, it demands serious effort – especially on a hot sunny day as it proved to be. And some are glad just to get round at all.
But the Run can also seem a very long and very lonely road.
Families were prominent. There were parent-and-offspring duos while Emma Hutchinson’s young son Matthew had completed the Junior Run the day before. Her younger son Thomas is already booked in for the next Mini Run.
Every year Jasmin Boyes and Sam McVey delight the crowds with their colourful and imaginative takes on running gear. This year they were Ghostbusters.
Every year too Craig Thompson risks heatstroke by donning some heavy, all-enveloping but eye-catching fancy dress. This year he is the superhero from the ‘Dandy’, Bananaman.
Last time Paula Maguire donned a Disney-style all-over costume and suffered in the heat. This time she played safe and, along with her sister Kelsey, dressed more lightly as a USA-style cheerleader, complete with pom-poms.
The serious side to the day is the fundraising. As well as getting straightforward sponsorship, runners have used many varied and ingenious ways of raising money to fight MND. Ken Durose has hit on a new idea: he takes himself up to a popular summit (Scafell, Helvellyn, Thorp Cloud in Dovedale) and brews tea that he sells to walkers. “Goes like hot cakes”, he reports.
Many, if not most, runners are taking part in memory of a relative, friend, lover or colleague who has been taken from them by MND. There were several runners for the Scott Bell Fund, in memory of footballer Scott Bell. They included Michelle Irvine and Paul Spedding as well as Lou Bell and Peter Snowdon.
Emma Hutchinson was remembering footballer Adam Peacock. It was Christine Baker’s 10th Run in memory of her mother; Stan Snowball runs on account of his late father. Keith Johnson remembers family friend Colin Brown while Dougie and Judith Scarfe have run for several years now in memory of their friend Tim Lester. These are just a few names in a very long list.
It all added up to a great day, as reflected in comments by many of our runners themselves. For example:
~ “I loved every second of the day……..I will definitely be back next year.” (Ben Smith)
~ “I very much enjoyed the day and aim to be back for my 27th Great North Run next year.” (George Jennings)
Everything that is great about the day is embodied in those two irrepressible sisters Annette and Karen – sense of purpose, determination to achieve it and hugely enjoying life on the way.
Acknowledgments (Review and Gallery photos):
~ roadside photos by Martin Riddle with additional photos by Michael Sewell
~ all photos at the Finishing Point by Marian Dent and Susan Lamb