Its biggest half marathon in the world. 57 000 people all following the same path, taking the same steps, sharing the same experience. Places are hard to secure with only a ballot or charity system in place, just like the London Marathon. This also ensures that it’s also one of the biggest fundraising events on the running calendar too with over £500 million raised so far over its 39 year history.
3 of our roadrunners were lucky enough to win places in the ballot. Garry Sharp, Beverly James and Steve Hunt all made their right upto the north of the country.
Started in 1981 by Athletics legend and commentator Brendan Foster, the run was inspired by the Round the Bays race in New Zealand. He devised a point to point race from Newcastle to Sunderland, his home town.
It kicked off at 10.40am from Claremont Drive in Newcastle with Sir Mo Farah leading them out at the front of the pack hoping for his 6th consecutive win.
The route took the field through the city centre and across the Tyne Bridge where the red arrows make an appearance if you time it well enough.
“I felt good for the first 3 miles” said Steve “but I’d woken up with a cold and it was getting really warm so I decided to slow down and enjoy it”
The runners then headed toward Gateshead, the nippy start had faded to hot sunshine and a beautiful afternoon. Finally they made it to the last mile which took them along the seafront at South Shields.
“The crowds and the other runners were amazing” Beverly tells me
Sir Mo got his record breaking win in an eye watering 59 minutes.
Garry stormed his way around to finish in his second ever fastest time over the distance.
“I’ve always wanted to run this race. My dad and sister live near the finish so it was great to have them there”
Steve and Beverly made their way to the finish line having enjoyed the experience. Steve also managed to raise £264 for Breast Cancer Now Charity.
Garry Sharp – 1.36.16
Steve Hunt – 2.27.24
Beverley James – 2.48.27