It’s September 2023 and that means one thing, Great North Run time!
Six Eccleshill Road Runners made the pilgrimage to the North East to nail their colours to this truly extraordinary event, one of a kind it definiteley is the biggest half marathon in the world! Fact: it is the embodiment of perseverance, resilience and the possibility of change. Over four decades there has been the opportunity to witness incredible feats of elite endurance, we’ve been humbled by extraordinary tales of success against all the odds and we’ve celebrated countless personal victories. This year’s AJ Bell Great North Run had the privilege of hosting Sir Mo Farah’s final ever competitive race.
The run starts on the central motorway in Newcastle and finishes on The Leas in South Shields. Greeted by beating sunshine, almost 60,000 people took part in the 42nd edition of the Great North Run, undeniably, the biggest half marathon in the world. This year, the Red Arrows were in top form as they put on a magnificent extended display of arial acrobatics to wow the runners and supporting crowds alike.
With soaring temperatures at the beginning and throughout most of the 13.1 mile race, it then became overcast followed by a biblical storm that the likes of most of us have never seen before, flooded roads, docks and Metro Stations, gridlocked roads, cancelled trains and suspended the South Shields ferry until emergency services came to the rescue and reinstated services some hours later.
2023 also saw unparalleled support along the whole length of the course with local residents making sure runners were suitably refreshed with every possible treat you could imagine, sweets, oranges, biscuits, cake, ice pops, ice lollies etc, you name it, they had it! In addition to the official showers, residents also took up place with their hosepipes in a bid to cool runners down. Before the final couple of miles there was even a chance for a free beer at the ‘beer stop’ before the final coastal descent to personal victory and the finish line.
Gill Jago kicked off the weekend with a warm up for the half in the form of the Great North 5k on Friday finishing in a brilliant time of 25:41.Team Steele/Ellison/Grant were running the half marathon for the Alzheimer’s Society in memory of Julie’s cousin Diane, raising vital funds for research and managed to land themselves a BBC interview at mile 7 to hopefully help swell the coffers!
Results: Dan Jenkins 1:28:30, Gillian Jago 2:09:41, Julie Steele 2:46:08, Garry Ellison 2:46:09, Martin Steele 2:46:10, Debra Grant 2:46:11. Well done everyone!