GREAT NORTH RUN 2018 09/09/18

Great North Run 2018

A full weekend of events, with an opportunity Saturday to watch the Citygames, seeing Greg Rutherford jump his last ever long jump and Jonny Peacock make his return to sprinting. Inspired by the junior 5k that ran along the Tyne and enjoyed the buzzing atmosphere of the ‘pasta party’ and expo area. Managed to hold back from spending too much on GNR merchandise as lovely as it was! Plenty of picture opportunities on the iconic Tyne bridge and working out where to situate supporters for the start ahead of the big event. All so worth doing to get a real feel for the friendly support and inclusiveness of the Great North Run.

We collected local friends who were running their 4th GNR and met up with Donna & Ian to travel into Newcastle. With the local knowledge we managed to park easily, 0.5 mile from the start, so we could join the masses of people wandering through the streets to the town moor and starting pens on the dual carriageway.

Having said goodbye to our supporters Tim, Ian & Carol (so they could get to their vantage point just over the Tyne bridge) we walked another half mile from the start line towards our pens, spotting Lee and Jack in their Jags tops along the way, amazing considering the volume of people. I had planned to run with Sharon’s sister, Lynda, but despite our prior planning for meeting up at the start, we managed to miss each other. The toilet queues were never ending, with many opting for the outside option (so much easier for the men!)

Despite arriving in Newcastle a good couple of hours ahead of the starting time, the waiting time just disappeared. Donna and I said our good byes and good lucks half way along the pens as we were starting in different areas. There was plenty of water in constant supply and space to stretch alongside the pens, but once in the waiting pens the space soon disappeared. The mass warm up was great to be a part of, but limited space to do properly.

The big screens allowed us to see the start of the race, with the wheelchair athletes and elite ladies leading the way, followed by Mo and the elite men, the masses then began to move forward. The red arrows roared overhead as we neared the start-line and still people ducking out for the last minute toilet stop! 35mins after the race had started I crossed the start line and started my run, (Mo was only 24 mins from the finish line by then!)

The Run itself

The volume of people around was not going to allow a pb even if I was hoping for one, I wasn’t setting myself any targets except to enjoy the whole experience and that is exactly what I did. The support was amazing from the off, people lining the verges, central reservations and the bridges above.

Miles 1-3

No chance of starting too fast, so took it easy with plenty of high fives and joining in the oggies and singing in the underpasses.  (I chose to stay left so could follow the underpass route, on the advice from seasoned GNR friends). Before long I was out of the tunnel and heading for the Tyne bridge around a mile and half. Soon spotted Tim & co. having passed over the bridge, more high fives and then tried to find a line to pick up the pace a little. Many runners appeared to stop having crossed the bridge, so a fair bit of dodging about to try and get some running rhythm. I didn’t notice the hill between Tyne bridge and Felling bypass and soon spotted the Gateshead stadium. The most comfortable first three miles of a run I have done in a while! Distracted by the encouraging crowds, live music and trying to dodge other runners, Mr Bump, firemen & numerous unicorns! Soon caught up with a 2hrs 15 min pacer so was feeling good. Time for a haribo or two (other confectory was also in constant supply, along with ice pops, brownies, orange segments and much more!)

Miles 4-6

At Heworth around the 5k mark there was another incline due, but this came and went with the steel band entertaining and plenty more high fives. Had to remember not to high five the St Johns teams as they were offering large dollops of vaseline on their gloved hands!

Managed to pass two 2hrs 10 pacers before the 10k mark and around this point the two lines of runners combined, where the dual carriage way merged. Running slowed as the road became more congested.  At the six/ seven mile point we came to a mass stop, for no apparent reason but sheer volume of runners. Short opportunity to take on more water and take in the enormity of this race.

Miles 7-10

John Reid road leads all the way down to South Shields and to the sea. Despite a short shower of rain as we started, the clouds had cleared and pure blue skies above meant the temperature increased with the distance. The constant water stops, road side showers and ice pops were much appreciated. I’ve never eaten & drank so much in a race! With the increase in temperature, volume of runners and queuing for an opportunity to pass through the showers my pace slowed, I seemed to be playing cat & mouse with the third 2hrs 10 pacer!

Miles 10 – 13.2

Only a park run to go! Loved the live music and motivation stations, even Elvis made an appearance in the centre of the road as runners filtered either side of the roundabouts. Started to keep an eye out for my support team around 12 miles and wasn’t disappointed as they appeared to my left just as I was about to switch sides again! A real boast for the final mile and slight uphill before spotting the sea. What a beautiful sight, as then headed downhill with a little space to stretch the legs and then turning left along South Shields sea front. I’d finally managed to stay ahead of the 2hrs 10 pacer!

Mo had won the men’s race, the crowds were louder and larger and any space to increase the pace in the final mile was nonexistent, so time to enjoy the final moments of this iconic race. The four finish lanes were finally in sight and the clock was reading 13:14, a finish time of 2:08:00 and arrived just in time for the full Red arrows display, which started as I collected my medal, what a fantastic way to end to my run.

Wasn’t a race for PB’s, a potentially frustrating run if you go with a target time in mind.   A run, not a race, to enjoy being a part of, for the fun and full experience of the Great North run.  The niggles and injuries that had hampered training were forgotten as I was carried along by the amazing crowds out in force all along the route. Surrounded by inspiring runners, most running for a charity or in memory of a loved one. So much money raised for so many valuable charities, an experience truly worth travelling up North for. Fab Medal, T-shirt and goody bag a bonus!

An amazing well done to Donna Monk on completing her first half marathon, a privilege to share the experience with her and Ian in support, along with Tim. Brilliant finish times for Lee Emmett and Jack Stuttle, well done everyone.

If you’re thinking about giving it a go, get your name in the ballot January or run for a charit

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Jack Stuttle1.31.40FTSILVER
Lee Emmett1.40.21YESBRONZE
Karen Evens2.08.00BRONZE
Donna Monk2.57.30FT


I wish I had taken a picture of the orange moon. Ten shivering Coltishall Jaguars stood in Whitlingham car park at 7:45pm on a rapidly darkening late summer evening. I had just cycled from Langley to Whitlingham, it hadn’t felt far, but standing waiting for the start, I felt like I was going on a polar expedition. I had spent the best part of an hour putting on various vest and top combinations, like goldilocks. When my lovely team mates pitched up, it became clear, no one knew what to wear. Except perhaps Thomas, he was lit up like a very nice Christmas tree. We spent most of our time shivering and comparing lighting equipment, I forget who had the airplane landing lights, but they were cool. Having previously run a stretch of the route, Nicola and James provided some insight into what lay ahead. I heard the words field, mud and water, if only that had been all. I am pretty sure the route was on the Wherryman’s way, which runs alongside the river Yare (please don’t write your travel book based on this information, I’m not totally sure where we went). After more shivering, and way too soon, it was five minutes to go. I feel like I’m about to do this write up an injustice because, in the pitch black, it was hard enough to see five metres in front of me let alone know what other people were doing. I know I missed most of the Jaguars who were helping at various water stations, thanks though! It was so dark, for the first five miles I was looking at James’ back, it was not until he held a kissing gate for me (gent) that I realised it was him. I repaid the favour when he went the wrong way, twice. Most of the first part of the run was a battle of ‘am I running the right pace’ I think this might have been a universal problem because of the dark and the surface under our feet was always iffy. I think the man I saw fall into a bush would agree. But from speaking to people at the end of the race, I believe we all agreed running at night added something special, the cheers from all the people sitting outside pubs, the total silence running along the river, the sense of being in it together felt somehow bigger. The route was about thirty percent road, the rest of the route was along single track grass sections, off camber decking, many kissing gates and what we all now affectionately refer to as ‘nettle mile’. I enjoyed nettle mile, weird, the illuminous medal was nice but nettle mile really was something else, medicinal and stimulating. I’m sure other entrants could add limitless other heroic stories, the event was just an exceptional experience and although it was right on our doorstep, the sense of adventure was tangible. We had some great results too, Nicola Lambert was 2nd lady and 12th overall, James Lambert was 2nd overall and I was a bit shocked with 3rd overall and obviously a half marathon PB as it was my first. Thomas Lincoln-Kemp was 1st in age category and 8th overall. Paul Rogers had a great run and came in under two hours for 33rd. Clive Cartner and Angela Gallen-Bell ran together (through nettle mile) for 89th and 90th and Claire hicks, Owen Barber and Paul Gerber made a great team coming in 107th, 108th and 110th respectively. Post-race I began frantically Googling night time 12 hour races for the Jags to take a team too, the results are nice, but more than that and the reason why I joined a running club, I felt part of something, that is what running really does for me. Oh and I really wish I had taken a photo of that orange moon.

Jason Corner

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PAUL GERBER110TH02;31;56


Taking a break from running to a particular pace, time or distance, the idea was to create a social run that anyone can take part in an enjoy.  This involved meeting at the Britannia Cafe, Mousehold, Norwich where we would take our first group picture with the Kett’s Oak Moon gazing hare before beginning our three hour run to all the other 50 City Trail Hares.  In typically club fashion, the temptation for a group photo was never passed up, along with many more selfies.

The first week saw 9 Jags join me for this run on the 22nd July, with the success of first run increasing the numbers to 20 for the 29th July and plenty of demand to warrant a third run on the 12th August with 40 Jags doing the GoGo run in total, with a few coming back and running this twice because they enjoyed the 10 miles that much!

For some, it was a distance that they didn’t think was possible for them and redefined their capabilities, while the atmosphere and great group dynamics on display throughout means this will be an experience that all will struggle to forget, even for those who witnessed the mass of orange running through Norwich time and again.
We also made the EDP with double page pull out see photos below.
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This popular race was renamed to commemorate the end of World War 1, with a trumpet solo playing The Last Post and a minute’s silence prior to the race in honour of the many brave soldiers who lost their lives.

After the unusually warm summer weather it was a relief, for the 32 Jags competing, that this Sunday morning was a little cooler. The course was 2 laps around the town centre, with a tricky hare-pin bend in the market place, both well-supported and well marshalled, promising a fast, flat PB course.

And we were not disappointed.  Emma Blake continued to impress with a new age group record and first diamond standard,  coming 2nd in her age group, Ken Bowman was also 2nd in his age group achieving platinum standard and Dee Neal, who has been doing so well this year, achieved 3rd in her age group.

Hatty Swain, Julie Jardine and Samatha Beales were amongst the 7 Jags achieving pbs, while Rachel Kirkham and Nick Richards completed their first 5k race. There were also diamond standards for Mel Porter and Nick Eley and at last a first diamond as a Jag for Keith Brighty!

New member Doug Barber managed to drop his keys at the start of the race, and had to avoid being trampled to retrieve them, but still managed to gain a gold standard and pb! He also very kindly brought along lemon drizzle cake for us all to enjoy at the end of the race. There was also a childrens’ race with some great running from Junior Jags Georgie and Rosie.

As  for the finishers medal, I think it is probably one of the best I have ever received, a fitting tribute to those brave soldiers 100 years ago.

Ruth Gainsford

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Neil Button18.52GOLD
Melvyn Porter19.19DIAMOND
Graham Johnson19.41GOLD
Dean Blake19.43GOLD
Emma Blake19.43YES & New Age group Record &2nd In Age GroupDIAMOND
Shane Bidle19.56SILVER
Thomas Lincoln-Kemp20.20GOLD
Tom Johnson20.28SILVER
Ken Bowman20.322nd In Age GroupPLATINUM
Keith Brighty20.32DIAMOND
Stephen Neal20.33YESGOLD
Elly Young21.04GOLD
Douglas Barber21.08YESGOLD
Nick Richards21.30FTSILVER
Nicholas Eley21.36DIAMOND
Paul Emery21.45GOLD
Vicky Tovell22.07GOLD
Joanne Cottrell23.15SILVER
Graham Fryer23.41SILVER
Hattie Swain23.51YESBRONZE
Ruth Gainsford24.00YESGOLD
Julian Jardine24.19BRONZE
Lucy Anderson24.52BRONZE
Adele bushell24.53SILVER
Dee Neal25.053rd In Age GroupGOLD
Emma Jordan25.08SILVER
Claire Owen25.31BRONZE
Samantha Beales26.14YES
Annette Yeomanson31.54
Racheal Kirkham32.33FT
Vee Clements33.09
Julie Jardine33.47YES


Friday 10th August saw Angela, I and another three Jags – Rod, Jackie, & Nicola – head to the inaugural Wortwell 5 Mile Summer Sizzler organised by the Bungay Black Dogs. After a short 5 minute walk from the Race HQ at the Community Centre, the race got underway just outside the centre of the village on a quiet country lane. The first mile is flat and picturesque, running almost parallel with the River Waveney until the route crosses a bridge over the river and in the small village of Mendham. Once through the village the course becomes a little more challenging where we found several small hills and left and right turns, until we reached the small village of Mendham. Once through the village the course becomes a little more challenging where we found several small hills and left and right turns, until we reached the most difficult part of the course, the aptly named ‘Target Hill’, a very steep gradient with a bend half way up, lasting a good 200-300metres. Upon reaching the top we were rewarded with a well placed water station and a flat road, giving great views of the valley. As we all know ‘what goes up, must come down’ and as we headed towards mile three, the route takes in a long sweeping down hill section towards Homersfield Lake, where you can really recapture any time lost climbing up the hill. Heading towards the last mile we crossed the River Waveney again near the Black Swan Pub, and were lucky to be cheered on by a small group of customers. After avoiding the temptation to join them we were into the last mile, back to the centre of Wortwell, where the road is flat – ideal after the undulating previous couple of miles. After re-entering the grounds of the Community Centre, heading around it and diagonally across the playing field behind, we found the finish and a lovely, colourful well earned medal awaiting our arrival. In addition to the medal for her efforts, Angela achieved Bronze standard, whilst also chopping a massive 1m 20secs off her PB too, on a tough course! A really enjoyable event which will hopefully continue next year. Nicola Lambert-John was first Jag home and second in age Group, Rod Bye was next and gained 3rd in age group, then Jackie Bye who got 2nd in age group so plenty of trophies to take home too.


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Nicola Lambert-John34.21New Age Group Record & 2nd in Age GOLD
Rod Bye36.013rd in Age GroupGOLD
Jackie Bye41.502nd In Age GroupDIAMOND
Angela Bell42.24YESBRONZE
Clive Cartner42.26


Giant’s Head Marathon 2018 

How could you honestly not want to do a race when the medal not only features the Cern Abbas Giant but his ‘appendage’ spins round? Scott Shrubsall and I made the trip to Dorset to find out if the race could live up to the bling! 

 Beautiful scenery, never ending hills, free beer and shots in the (in)famous White Star Running Lovestation at mile 20, race instructions which stated that no changing facilities were available so random nudity was acceptable and a race director who may take your car for a spin around the car park but only if it’s cool enough all featured in this race of 26.2(ish) miles through the Dorset countryside. 

It was incredibly hot, neither of us had trained properly due to a combination of injury and illness plus, coming from Norfolk, even looking at the course profile was enough to make your legs ache. 

As well as being the slowest race I have ever done, this was, however, one of the best most enjoyable and fun races we have ever taken part in, there was a fabulous camaraderie between the runners with lots of people in fancy dress and a number offering themed snacks to all and sundry, I was offered more jelly willies than is really sensible! 

Yes they ran out of hot food but there was plenty of cake and beer to go around after the finish and we finished off with a delicious pub meal and a pint (or two) of Dorest Knob bitter. 

Things we learned 

1.Train properly for any marathon and get some decent hot weather acclimatisation in if you can 

2.Most places are a fair bit hillier than Norfolk but Dorset especially so 

3.If you are running with me and need to drag me, almost bodily, through the last 10 miles of a race, I may still try to outsprint you when I see the finish line and the red mist decends (Sorry Scott, I don’t know what came over me….. but I was first over the line) 

4.Buffs/Muffs, race T-shirts and medals all look much better with a willy on, especially if it spins around 

5.Yes we are still rather infantile and big kids at heart. 

6.People who play Jimmy Shand at full volume in your campsite after 10pm are the worst. Paul T ..


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