Wow, so there it was, the Great North Run. Another year
gone, another awesome weekend in the North East, just a shame it only comes around once a year. I targeted sub 3 hour in my current shape, and did it, and beat my time from the other half I did in Chester this year as well. The GNR is tough, it’s crowded and uphill, but chuffed to have done it again, and supported some amazing charities again. I supported both CWC UK and Maggie’s Centres with the run, so two awesome finisher photos this year, with a bonus medal from Maggie’s for the event as well 🙂 2.57.10 in the bag for me, happy with that.
Prior to the run I did my usual range of celebrity hunting to get items for auction and managed some awesome additions. The day before was the annual City Games with some huge names competing. I finally got a photo with Christine Ohuruogo, who was also kind enough to sign one
of my TeamGB tops for auction (along with loads of others on the day). Along with Mo, Christine is without doubt one of the biggest names in UK (if not World) athletics just now, so it was great to finally get that photo. Paralympic medallist and Dutch opening cermony flag bearer Ronald Hertog was kind enough to donate the vest he wore in the IPC sprint event on Saturday, while Tiffany Porter donated one of her bib name badges.
One of my favourite pics of the weekend was with my new favourite Spice Girl, now that I have bumped into her three times in the last week, Melanie C, who was awesome enough to promote my JustGivign TextCode to help raise more donations, if Sporty Spice tells you to do something, then you should do it 🙂
For me, one of the highlights of these weekends is the IPC line up, and having met Ronald on the Saturday, I was delighted to add some of the biggest names in Paralympic sport just now, including the legendary Weirwolf himself, David Weir and Jonnie Peacock. I had met Jonnie earlier this year, but he was in a huge hurry pre race, and I caught him at a better time this weekend, and got several items signed, including this awesome Xmas Card. Late in the day on Saturday I also got to meet Stephen Miller (who captained the Team GB Paralympians in London), which is truly a pleasure. Stephen was kind enough to sign a card for me to add to the previous Xmas Card, and I can honestly say he’s up there with the most awesome athletes to
talk to, though under no circumstances was I taking on the rep challenge he was promoting at the pre race expo 🙂
Among those to sign on the race day on the start line were Jo Whiley, several of the cast of Emmerdale, including a very hairy looking Noah Huntley, newsreader (and Dr Who bonus) Sophie Raworth and comedian Patrick Monahan who put a pic with us on his Facebook and Twitter
on the spot as he signed photos. Ritchie Neville of 5ive was a nice bonus, and one of the few who came right to us without being asked.
Most who were there signed both Xmas Card and white cards, as well as posing for pics, and I had photos of several of those who were there which I managed to get signed despite the nightmare weather forecast. Others on the list were referees Mark Halsey and Mark Clattenburg, Coronation Street’s Paula Lane and a whole lot more.
All in all an amazing weekend. Thanks go to James for keeping me company for the first seven minutes of the race before he shot off, The Geordie Massive for getting items signed, and Darren for his photo skills all over the place.
Massive thanks also to the Maggie’s Centres team at the end of the race who provided some end of race respite, and the awesome Children with Cancer UK team who both cheered me on over the final mile and had chocolate and juice on at the end!
I’ll leave you with this final snap… I clearly enjoyed myself!