The Great north run is not everyone's cup of tea as a race, the numbers are high, the entry fee is the highest of the year and with the start and finish 13 miles apart logistically a pain. Last year was my first year of entering and was my first ever half marathon, it was a little bit of a shock the whole day but this year I feel a lot more prepared.
Sensibly we park at South Shields and take a packed out metro to Newcastle giving us plenty of time to queue for toilets and baggage buses, once organised, a nice stroll down to the start line to relax and spot a few minor celebrities who have somehow managed to blag a nice front block start!
A big positive from last year is that you only have to be in your starting area ten minutes before the start, this means less standing around in a cramped area, not good before your about to run for nearly two hours!
Seven minutes after the official start we manage to actually cross the start line and it's soon nice to be out in the open roads until the crowding of the Tyne bridge. As usual the crowds are huge through Gateshead and it's a nice boost early on when your just finding your pace. Obviously I have trained and prepared for this years run than last but was still finding i kept holding back to make sure I lasted the distance. I felt comfortable most of the way round even the long uphill section through South Shields where most runners get found out. I crossed the line in 1hr 48 which was around 30 seconds slower than last year but I had plenty left in me and probably could have ran some more which is more pleasing than the time. Chris, who I have been training with got a huge PB which was pleasing after running the training miles with him.