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Great North Run Half Marathon 2011

The Red Arrows fly past as the runners cross the Tyne Bridge. (Photo courtesy of BBC News)
The Red Arrows fly past as the runners cross the Tyne Bridge. (Photo courtesy of BBC News)

The Great North Run is an iconic event, run each year, starting in Newcastle upon Tyne and finishing in South Shields. With over 54,000 runner registering to take part, it is the world’s biggest half marathon and this year the event was started by Mo Farah, World 5000m champion. 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 Laura Slater and Emily Alston who were running to raise funds for the Meningitis Research Foundation (if you wish to show your appreciation of their efforts, they are still taking donations at Emily & Laura) and also to Keith Chinnery in his first half marathon. All had a great day out – well done!

Place Time
Keith Cinnery 27,860 02:29:15
Emily Alston 36,405 03:17:10
Laura Slater 36,406 03:17:11

1 = First race over the distance. PB = Personal best time over the distance.

Emily said: “Hi, a couple of pictures of Laura and I in our meningitis research foundation cheerleader outfits, at the finish of the GNR attached. We had a great day, we carried buckets to collect donations around the whole route and everyone was really generous, it did mean we were stopping and starting quite a bit (especially as high-fiving toddlers is a good way to get money from their parents!) and the generosity of the crowd meant that the buckets got quite heavy very quickly, so it was nowhere near a pb, coming in (with sore arms more than anything else) at 3hrs17mins. But we did beat the other bucket carriers we started off with and some who started a while before us, so the good name of ERN is still just about in tact.

For Gordons benefit, running 13 miles with a bucket full of small change officially hurts more than beach fun – although arguably if I had been to beach fun a few more times this summer it wouldn’t have hurt as much.

In summary, great day out, well organised, fantastic support and a staggering number of runners!

See you soon I’m sure,


Keith said: “Hi, just to update you on my experience at my first GNR.

My friend Chris and I managed to beat our target of 2hrs 30 mins by racing across the finish line in 2hrs 29mins and 15 secs!! The atmosphere was amazing as was the support from spectators all round the course. Weather conditions weren’t too bad and when the rain did come it was a welcome relief. It was so different from watchng on the TV and even the Red Arrows kindly put on a display for us as we did the last mile, which was also a welcome distraction.

I ran on behalf of the Samaritans and to date have raised £765 which is excellent. I’m signed up for the Edinburgh 10k next Sunday and hoping to run inside the hour.

Regards, Keith”

Photos: (*Courtesy of BBC News)

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