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Great North Run Half Marathon 2009

Tyne Bridge
Tyne Bridge

The Great North Run is an iconic event, run each year, starting in Newcastle upon Tyne and finishing in South Shields. With around 54,000 runner it is the world’s biggest half marathon and this year the event was started by Sting. Similar to the London marathon, a large proportion of the runners run for charity and displays by the RAF Red Arrows aerobatic team are a particular feature. Congratulations to both Geni Smyth (with a PB) and Susie Smith who ran this year, had a great day out and made their target of finishing in under 2.30 – well done especially considering the crowds and the warm weather.

Susie Smith 22,578 1,258 6,424 250 00:30:08 01:02:10 01:35:44 02:19:26
Geni Smyth 26,829 3,799 8,609 1,223 00:34:39 01:09:59 01:45:35 02:28:06

Times in red = distance PB, blue = course PB and green = first race over distance.

Geni said: “Just completed Great North Run in 2 hrs 28 (PB). Fantastic weather and more space to run than I’d thought possible given the 54,000 competitors! Took half an hour to reach the starting line where Sting from The Police was getting somewhat tired shaking everyone’s hand, having just fired the starting pistol. Exhilarating Red Arrows airshow above and constant crowd cheering really motivated us when the energy was needed for gentle but persistent gradients (of which there were many). I had to move onto the footpath twice to make room for ambulances and saw quite a few runners being given first aid between mile 10 and the finish. Superb BUPA boost zone at mile 10 blasting music and giving out Vaseline, water etc to keep us going. Plenty to drink and several live bands drummed us onwards. Many choruses of football chants in the road tunnels- really got into this and led one myself! Felt like a very well organised race from beginning to end though I will make note for future to leave loads of time for the loo queue in order to avoid the last minute bush pee though it did wonders for pre race warm up for ye olde legs. Time is needed to get to the start punctually and to get transport home e.g. metro into Newcastle almost full before 9am and took an hour and a half from the finish back to Newcastle central station. All in all, a superb race day.”

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