Race date: 9th Sept
Report by Tony Bell
Great North Run weekend
Before I returned to Sheffield in 2015 I lived on Tyneside 2014-15 when I worked at Newcastle University. Both years I was there I ran the “local half marathon” The Great North Run. When I was successful in the ballot for the 2018 GNR my wife and I decided to make a weekend of it and get to visit some old friends.
Saturday 8th September. Before Graves Park my local parkrun was the wonderful seaside Whitley Bay parkrun. The plan for this weekend was to run the parkrun with my wife and then race the GNR on Sunday, unfortunately Shelley hurt her foot and couldn’t run with me. Before the parkrun started I met Kate Scott from SCS who was also up for the GNR (see photo). I set off at the back and jogged along slowly working my way through as I ran along the familiar seafront course, smaller photo shows me running on the promenade with the dome of ‘Spanish City’ in the background. Around 3/4 distance as I was running on the second lap I saw Kate running for the finish. At 4km I caught one of my former clubmates from North Shields Poly, who was running round with his wife, and we ran in together. Finished in 28.15, a bit faster than I planned.
8 September Whitley Bay parkrun
1st Taylor Jay Glover (Morpeth Harriers) 16.26
45th Kate Scott (Steel City Striders) 22.34 1ST LADY
192nd Tony Bell (Steel City Striders) 28.15
Sunday 9th September. 38th Great North Run half marathon. Newcastle to South Shields
Up early and then I got the Metro train to Haymarket, just like old times. I walked through Newcastle University to the start. Bag on the bus and then down to the motorway to wait for the start in zone D. At 10.40 “Local Hero” started to play and we started to walk forward very slowly. After 8 minutes and 25 seconds over the start line and I could finally run, Mo Farah was probably at the Tyne Bridge by now. The first couple of miles are downhill to the Tyne and are the fastest part of the course. By the Tyne Bridge I was already passing runners who were walking very slowly. By 3 miles the course got narrower and the inevitable problem of a race with 50000 entrants, having to weave round slower runners. I was moving reasonably well to halfway, on pace for my target of 1h45. I saw a few friends from my running past as I ran along and passed a few SCS runners. By 8 miles I was very tired and I started to slow on the uphills from then. By 11 miles I wasn’t passing so many runners, it was getting very hard work as the weather got warmer. The steep downhill to the seafront just before 12 miles was very uncomfortable. The last mile was a bit of a slog but finally turn right off the road and onto the grass. Over the line in a chip time of 1h48.54. Very tired but I finished.
Through the finish area and I bumped into Kate and some other SCS runners, we had an impromptu team photo and I had an individual finisher picture taken (see attached). It was good to be back on Tyneside again for this great event, I raised £150 for Cat charities.
1st Sir Mo Farah (Newham and Essex Beagles) 59.27
1st Lady Vivian Cheruiyot (Kenya) 1h07.43
3974th Anthony Bell (Steel City Striders) 1h48.54
Scientist. runner, race walker and cat-lover
Running for kitty cats in the 2018 Great North Run
Striders Results in full:
(compiled by Michael Squires so any mistakes / omissions are mine and not Tony’s! The results do not include categories)
Full results: https://www.greatrun.org