Great North 10k, 7th July 2024

Fair weather this Sunday for the Great North Run’s younger, smaller sibling. Not too warm, a bit of cloud cover, and minimal wind.

Although naturally dwarfed by the flagship event, there was still plenty of interest in this race, with over 4,500 completing the course.

There was also a good number of spectators, with people assembled along bridges and by the roadside as the route weaved its way through the heart of the city, along with a variety of musical entertainment/encouragement, ranging from disco beats to steel drums. Prior to the start, milling about in the pen, the faster runners in the orange wave were mostly doing their best to studiously ignore the man enthusiastically leading the warm-up from atop a high platform.

The first 3km replicates the GNR, following the speedy descent down the central motorway to the Tyne Bridge. However, once across the bridge, a sharp turning point sent us back across the river to Newcastle, and into town, where our feet took us past numerous landmarks.

Grey’s Monument, Old Eldon Square, the Central Library, Northumbria Uni (a wave to our old Claremont base), and the Civic Centre all accounted for, an out and back up the Great North Road funnelled runners onto the Town Moor for the final km.

It was great to see a number of Claremonters both at the start and end of the race, once again making up a trusty volunteer team. A few more could be seen/heard throughout the run, cheering on their clubmates. Roberto Marzo was our first home by quite some margin, his recent training and mileage really paying off in a spectacular time on an undulating course. Jim Crinnion also posted a fast time, following his recent 5k PB.

Gill Milne celebrated her birthday by running alongside an old friend, finishing with Shilpa Iyanna who was once again racing with daughter Rai. Nina Jensen was on pacing duties as last year, nailing it as she came in at just 9 seconds under her target of 1 hour 25 minutes.

I did not have my best experience. As with recent 5 mile efforts, I probably naively tried to start off running at the same pace I would have done a few months ago, prior to minor injury and loss of fitness. Coming off the central motorway into town, I hit something of a wall, and proceeded to slog through the remainder of the race, feeling like I was both going backwards and through treacle. Passing the Civic Centre as a steel band was playing ‘The Tide is High’, I thought “I’m only just about holding on”. Finishing exhausted, feeling like I’d run the full half rather than just 10k, it was nice to see smiling Claremont faces handing out water, a ray of sunshine through the literal and metaphorical cloud. Just one of those days, onto the next one.

Well done to everyone who took part, and especially to the volunteers for their efforts in contributing to a smooth event.

89Roberto Marzo38:28
194Jim Crinnion41:11
247Laurie Johnson42:10
465Mungai Wairia45:45
583Daniel Orlopp47:01
1390Lucy Ward53:29
1420Eddie Smith53:41
2030Sophie Richardson57:26
2553Gill Milne60:44
2554Shilpa Iyanna60:50
3720Lena Lou71:05
4363Nina Jensen (1hr 25 pacer)84:51
Laurie Johnson -