Great North Run Review 2015

Our Review of the Big Day

More photos of this year’s Run are in our gallery.

Photo of Helen Barber approaching FinishIt was another fantabulous day.  Over 260 runners supporting the MND cause joined the mighty throng setting off to make the journey on foot from Newcastle to South Shields.

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.
Gethin JonesSian Roberts-Jones04. Sian Roberts-Jones with Colin Jackson
Other fast finishers included Max Applegarth (1.33), Mark Greenfield (1.35) and Helen Barber (1.41).
05. Max Applegarth 06. Mark Greenfield 07. Helen Barber
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.

Some could do the Run with a smile on their face:
Ellie RandallEmma Tole
Sarah Lambert and Emma KrzyzJo Forbes

Some did more than smile when they spotted our roadside cameraman:
Katie Webster  Christopher Hodge
Kerry Race  Alan Dignam
Lisa Lander

But the Run can also seem a very long and very lonely road.

A long and lonely roadFamilies 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.
18. Sarah and Paul Branley19. Stuart and Alan Coates20. Emma Hutchinson

There were siblings:
Rachel Bowie, Ed Carroll and Joanna BrownChristopher and Matthew Platten
and of course there were a good number of couples.

Two family teams were prominent.
There was Team Salvo, consisting of Alex and Emma Krzyz, Sarah and Gavin Lambert and Jack Nalty:
Team Salvo

Another family team comprised Lorraine and Steve Prince, Laura Colclough and William Jackson:
24. Team Colclough-Prince

Some runners, like Cheryl O’Neill, brought the family along for support.
Cheryl O'Neill and family

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.
Jasmin Boyes and Samantha McVeyCraig ThompsonKelsey and Paula Maguire

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.

Sisters Annette Robson and Karen Whelan have also found an effective technique.  They take collecting buckets with them on the Run!
Ken Durose  Annette Robson and Karen Whelan see a donor

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.

30B. Michelle Irvine30A. Paul Spedding

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.

For everyone there is a satisfaction to be had, not just in meeting the physical challenge of the Run but in knowing that another contribution is being made to defeating the scourge that is MND.
Sophie Barton32. Andrew ThomasCarla Howes

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)
Ben SmithGeorge 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.
Annette and Karen on the look-out for donations

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

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