What an amazing experience for a first half marathon! Every step along the 13.1 mile route was filled with a flood of cheering Geordie supporters, all offering goodies such as ice pops, sausage rolls, jelly babies and even beer! There were even several walk-through showers along the course to keep you cool. I’d never experienced such a great party atmosphere while running my furthest distance ever. ‘Enjoy it’ was my PT’s advice and I certainly did. With 57,000 runners it’s not surprising that you cover quite a distance just walking to your pen. I’d been so obsessed with being hydrated enough in the heat that the need to jump the fence and join my fellow runners in the bushes for a quick wee seemed like the natural thing to do – so much so that I jumped the fence twice! It didn’t take long to get to the start line and once we were off I remembered to go left under the bridge to be rewarded with the ‘Oggy Oggy Oggies’ from above. Magic. Running across the Tyne Bridge was an iconic moment. I decided to head straight down the middle, little realising that a camera would capture the magic moment. Fab. At around mile 8 someone behind me was distracted eating their bag of Haribo that they stood on the back of my trainer, whipping it off my foot! It’s definitely not easy recovering your trainer in the middle of a road with so many runners heading towards you! Once I hit mile 10 an inner smile appeared – ‘just a parkrun to go’ – woo hoo! That’s when mile 11 arrived with a steep hill to climb followed by a rather steep descent trying to protect your knees. Your hard work over the last couple of miles is rewarded with a beautiful view of the sea as you enter South Shields – along with the never ending last mile to the finish line where you’re treated to jubilant faces, so many charity vests and time to share stories. Amazing. My journey to the start line hadn’t been an easy one. I’d unexpectedly got a ballot place in the January, just when I couldn’t walk due to glute issues. Time, patience and effort got me to Newcastle and I can honestly say that it was definitely worth it – so much so that I’ve signed up for the next 3 years! If you get the chance, do it. Up the Toons!!!

Karen Evans1.56.52YESSILVER
Dave Buck2.15.23FT
Christine Barnett2.15.23FTSILVER
Tim Evans2.24.41
Alison Read2.37.42FT
Paul Bloomfield3.18.09