On Sunday 11th September, 14 members of Grantham Running Club headed up to Newcastle to take part in the Great North Run, which was back to its original course following last year’s out and back. Following the news of the Death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the start to this race looked slightly different as runners assembled into their starting pens. The race began with a minute silence followed by the national anthem, allowing the 60,000 runners to pay their respects to the late Monarch. Runners then began their 13.1-mile journey to the South Shields sea front. Along the way they passed over the iconic Tyne Bridge, faced some undulating sections of dual carriageways and ended on a long 2k straight to the finish line (with a nice sea view, for those who had enough energy to appreciate it!).
Some of the GRC runners had places with charities including Guide Dogs, British Heart Foundation, Marie Curie and the Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance with lots of money raised for those great causes.
First home for the club was Sam Dowell who produced an excellent result beating his previous weeks half marathon time by 7 mins and 1 second, to cross the finish in a time of 01:33:57.
Next home was our first lady, Holly Durham, who finished in an amazing time of 01:37:56 which stands her in good stead for a PB in her upcoming Marathon in Chester in a few weeks’ time.
The next two back for the club and completing their second GNR were Robin Atter in a time of 01:38:09 and Rachel Hamilton in 01:47:23. Robin found this year’s course harder than the out and back of 2021 but enjoyed his free beer at mile 12. Rachel also found this year’s course tough but was happy to have raised lots of money for charity in memory of her Dad.
Zoe Wragg was pleased to finish in 02:03:04, a 20-minute PB from her previous half marathon time back in 2020. Zoe enjoyed the atmosphere, support and music along the route.
Next home for the green and black army was Martin Carter, who has previously done the GNR but was pleased to run the entire 13.1 miles this time. He finished in a respectable time of 02:14:21 despite not remembering how difficult the course was.
The next group of GRC’ers all coming in around the 2-hour 10 mark were, Esther Fraser-Betts – (02:10:19), John Nevard (02:10:24) and Emma Duncan (02:10:36). Esther and John used this race as a pace setter for the upcoming London Marathon in three weeks’ time and were pleased with their finishing times and the pace set. Emma was pleased to get a new PB by 4 minutes despite finding the course tough and the last mile never ending.
The next two ladies to cross the finish were Emma Hopkinson in a time of 02:15:55 and Laura Pigott shortly after in a respectable time of 02:18:15. Laura enjoyed the race despite not finding the course elevation profile easy. Emma loved the support of the crowds, their generosity in giving out sweets and was also pleased her run/walk technique paid off and got her round in a good time.
Running her second half marathon and coming home in a time of 02:19:09 was Holly Wragg. GNR was quite the contrast to her previous half marathon in the flat Lincolnshire town of Boston, but she appreciated the noise and support from the people of Newcastle which helped her achieve this 9-minute PB.
Judi and Simon Allsopp ran the iconic route together and finished one second apart with Judi crossing the line in 02:57:24 and Simon in 02:57:25. The pair even enjoyed an ice lolly break on the way round which was much needed as the sun made an unexpected appearance.
All agreed it was a fantastically supported race and a particularly memorable Great North Run during a period of national mourning. No doubt there will be lots of Green and Black vests in the 2023 race. Oggy Oggy Oggy!
Sam Dodwell –01:33:56
Holly Durham – 01:37:56
Robin Atter – 01:38:09
Rachel Hamilton – 01:47:23
Zoe Wragg – 02:03:04
Esther Fraser-Betts – 02:10:19
John Nevard – 02:10:24
Emma Duncan – 02:10:36
Martin Carter – 02:14:21
Emma Hopkinson – 02:15:55
Laura Elizabeth – 02:18:15
Holly Wragg – 02:19:09
Judi Allsopp – 02:57:24
Simon Allsopp – 02:57:25