Great North 10K

5 Jul


The Great North 10K started just around the corner from the Gateshead International Stadium 

with the runners setting off in waves starting with the Elite runners and moving back through 4 waves to the runners with the slower predicted finishing times, with the announcer informing everyone how this is a really fast course and many will be set. I set off in the White wave, which was the second wave after the Elite runners and it is only when you complete approximately 4km of this course do you realise why everyone just doesn’t head off in one mass start.

I was expecting a time of sub-55 minutes but I set off with the intention of staying in front of the 50 minute pacer as My p.b. is 49:57 and It would be nice to get that time down a wee bit (especially with the announcement about this super-fast course, ideal for setting

So we set off at 1011hrs with the first couple of kilometres through the industrial estate, I had the 50 minute pacer in front of me and quickly moved forward and got a few meters between Him and Myself. The race then comes down towards the Gateshead Quayside and heads along the road between the Baltic and the Sage, there were quite a few spectators along this section cheering on the runners, then the route dropped downhill under the Tyne Bridge and headed off along a narrow road beside the River Tyne and this is where you realise why it sets off in waves as this is quite narrow and the earlier runners were heading back along the other side of the road. It did get a little bit congested along here and I had to push a couple of runners to the floor and run over the top of them if I was to stay on course for a p.b. (that was a joke by the way, I didn’t really push or trample anyone). Then at the 5k mark you turn round and head back towards the Stadium and that’s when I saw him right behind me with his big orange 50 minute flag, the course then heads slightly back up hill towards the Tyne Bridge and the 50 minute pacer passed me and moved away with ease and that’s when I realised no p.b. for me today. Up the steep hill under the Tyne Bridge and back along the road between the Sage and the Baltic (with shouts of encouragement from the spectators) and then back in to the industrial estate.

There were a few hills to cope with and at the 8km mark there was a fire truck sprinkling water on to half of the road, so I moved out to get cooled down as it was quite warm when out of the shade. I ran through expecting a nice refreshing blast of cool water, what I in fact got was bloody freezing cold water that literally took My breathe away for a few seconds! This was not nice. The course then left the Industrial estate and headed of on to a footway along the side of the River Tyne, and then it appeared at the 9km mark ‘The Slog on the Tyne’. It was harder than I expected, but I got my head down and moved upwards (although looking at my Garmin afterwards it looks like I stopped for a picnic), then at the top of the hill the footpath turned right and I realised I was actually only half way up (This was hard and I think more hill training is required before next year).

After the hill it’s a pretty easy finish into the Stadium, at the 400m mark there was a young(ish) guy struggling and walking but with a bit of encouragement I got him moving again. As you enter the stadium to music from Chariots of Fire, you realise you have completed the race and all that is left is to sprint to the finish (okay, sprinting may be a slight overstatement) and pass as many other runners on the way to the line. I managed to fly past… One, but that aside it felt great.

My time 52:39, not quite the 50 minutes I had hoped for but it was better than I expected and it leaves me in a great place for a p.b. at the Middlesbrough 10K on the 4th September.


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