This was very nearly a forgotten event for me as I presumed that the Great North 10k was just a smaller distance option of the Great North Run for people that didn’t want to do the full marathon.  Luckily enough it was pointed out to me by someone in the Great Run team that I didn’t have it on my list and it was a completely separate event!

So here I am writing the report for an event that I very nearly didn’t do!  Imagine doing all the events in one year, spend all the time and money and then realise you’ve missed one off.  I’m massively grateful it was pointed out sooner rather than later.

I never thought I would say this what with not liking running before doing a mass participation one, but I was glad to have a run event again after the two swims and the cycle.

I had arranged to stay with a family friend up in the area so that was ideal to save on the cost of a hotel.  As I’d saved the money on the hotel I suppose I could have splashed out on the travel from London to Newcastle but as I’m a tight student I opted for the bargain buy of the £15, 7hr 30min coach journey – always a pleasure!

I joined the family at the table for dinner and then we went for a drink at the local pub in the evening.  Now this was eventful.  We went in and all got a drink but the bar was quite quiet.  This was because it was all going off outside in the beer garden.  China Drum were in town weren’t they.  A band none of us had ever heard of but turns out are actually quite famous - been in the charts and all sorts. It seemed a real family occasion as there were kids everywhere and it was about 9/10 at night.  The music was blaring, the beer garden full, and everyone having a good time.  One certain chap was maybe having a bit too much of a good time.  He was absolutely steaming and front row in front of the music tent dancing/stumbling his heart out, in his element he was.  He proceeded to the headbang after a while keeping his beer held safely aloft with one arm – this was a dream to watch.  However, one headbang pullback went a little too far and he did a backwards roly-poly on the grass.  Graciously he got himself up, picked up his cap, accepted the fact he had had one too many and headed home.  Even now, I do still rue not getting a china drum t-shirt to remember the occasion.

Sadly the weather on the morning of the run wasn’t as pleasant as the previous evening in the beer garden, it was chucking it down!  We got completely soaked on the way to the start even though we had on our highly fashionable bin bag tank tops.

I had never ran a 10k in under 50 minutes and I was flying to Ibiza straight after the run so I knew I need to complete it as quickly as possible and ideally in around 50 minutes.

The run all in all was really nice and enjoyable, the rain eased off and everything went to plan which was pleasing.  I didn’t set off at too quick a pace like I did in Ireland which had caused me some issues so that learning had paid dividends.  The one thing I do remember that sticks in my mind is that when you double back on yourself and head to the finish you see everyone on the other side - high-five each other and offer words of support. It was then that I noticed an old lady, must have been 70/80 with a charity top that had something like ‘Glenda’s On the Run’ written on it.  I just found this hugely inspirational that an old lady had not only decided to do the run but was running it at a good pace as well.  Hope I’m like that when I’m that age! Superb.

Another aspect of the run that I thought was good was finishing inside Gateshead stadium running track as you do about ¾ of the track and then come into the finish.  This was great as it added something else and spurred you on for a sprint finish what with being on an athletics track and having the stand next to the finish line full of supporters clapping you in.

I finished in a time of 00:50:59 as well so I was pleased to have got around the 50 mark but then at the same time was gutted I didn’t get under 50 what with getting so close.  But I suppose that is the bug of running and how it gets addictive, always trying to better yourself and your times.

After finishing it turned out we had more time after than we thought, typical after going all out to finish in 50mins.  However, what it did mean is that they had time to take me to this Iranian kebab-y that they knew and loved.  And I’m so glad they did as it was sensational!  Well it was all quality stuff apart from this weird drink we decided to try that was basically fizzy milk. It wasn’t great I have to say.  But the kebab was just class and just what I needed after the cold wet run.

I even had time to get a shower back at theirs before they kindly dropped me at the airport for my flight out to Ibiza.  The fact that I managed to get a shower I am sure was much to the delight of all the fellow passengers on that plane.

So off I went with another Great event under my belt – 9 down!

17th Learning – pack a waterproof jacket just in case it rains.  A bin bag is alright but not quite the same.