The Great North Run: What's stopping you? Bunion? September 29 2015
Terrific Tyne To Run
Last weekend thousands of runners and supporters were treated to glorious weather as competitors made their way from the iconic Tyne Bridge in Newcastle towards the coast in South Shields, for the 35th Great North Run.
Founded in 1981 as a local fun run, by 2014, the Great North Run was the first mass participation event to reach a milestone of one million finishers. Professor Brian Cox, who ran the event to raise money for the charity of which he is a patron, presented us with a formula from the glistening rooftop tiles of the Sage Gateshead: 55,000 runners + 55 degrees North + 13.1 Miles = The Great North Run.
First to finish were the superhuman elite, paving the way for the thousands of runners soon to follow. David Weir, who dominated the men's wheelchair race from the start, went on to claim his sixth win with a time of 42:46.
Fellow Briton Shelly Woods won her seventh wheelchair title, with a time of 53:38, after her main rival crashed close to the finish. Kenyan Mary Keitany dominated in the women’s running race; she crossed the finish with a time of 1:07:32, repeating her victory from the previous year.
In comparison, the elite men’s running event was more closely contested. Mo Farah held his own within the breakaway group of lead runners. Seeing Farah as a threat within their ranks, his competitors failed on multiple occasions to lose him from the pack.
However, by the last stages of the race it was just Stanley Biwott, of Kenya, and Farah out in front, with Mo sitting relaxed on Biwott’s tail. At one point Biwott attempted to pull away from Farah – Mo didn’t panic, and cool as a cucumber, stepped back on to Biwott’s heels.
As they approached the last 200m, Farah sped away from Biwott in trademark fashion to, finish with a time of 59:22 – the fastest half marathon by a British athlete. As Mo crossed the finish line victorious, he celebrated by making his signature ‘Mobot’. This was Mo’s second consecutive win of the Great North Run series and he’s said “I want to come back [next year] and see if I can do a hat-trick.”
The Great North Run not only gives runners a half marathon training goal, but it also provides an opportunity to raise money and awareness for a vast array of good causes – around £25m was raised by runners this year.
Two causes being championed by individuals really engaged me. We heard from Emma Egging, the incredible woman behind the Jon Egging Trust, inspired by the beliefs of her late husband. As a pilot in ‘The Red Arrows’, Flt. Lt. Jon Egging was passionate about aviation, and most of all about inspiring young people.
In tribute to Jon, the trust was established to support young people who find themselves in difficult circumstances, and it helps them to overcome adversity and achieve their full potential through inspiration, teamwork and leadership. Sunday also marked the end of National Transplant Week, and we heard from runners from The Bodie Hodges Foundation. The foundation was set up to raise money for a holiday home for bereaved parents, and to raise awareness of organ donation.
And one runner’s personal story really stood out for me; 84-year old Gladys Tingl, an amazing woman who has run every Great North Run for the last 12 years (despite being told by some people that she’s barmy for doing so). Go Gladys Go! Proof positive that no matter how old you are, there are no limits to what you can achieve if you put your mind to it.
Transform your Training
Planning to run in an event such as the Great North Run is a great idea to help galvanise your training. New to running? Events like the Great North Run will often provide free training guides, along with helpful tips, such as nutrition leading up to, and on race day.
Seasoned runner used to training? Ramp up your normal training routine to work towards a PB at your next event. No matter what your level, with a goal in sight, training will become more rewarding. The day of an event is always great fun, no matter the weather, because of the festival spirit, the camaraderie amongst the runners, and the amazing spectators.
Don’t let bunions stop you from running alongside 84-year old Gladys Tingl or Mo Farah at next year’s Great North Run. Bunion Sleeve has helped countless athletes perform without pain. It’s comfortable to wear with socks and shoes, and will help you go the extra mile.