Imagine fifty four thousand people running across a bridge. Next consider their clothing, a Bananaman outfit perhaps? Or a well built fella in a tutu, a bumble bee suit, Batman and Robin, a unicorn hat, where’s wally, panadas, firemen, donkeys, matching chickens? Then conjure the sounds, the chants, the claps, yells whistles and bells, the oggy oggy oggy’s and the oi oi oi’s, a band playing Georgie folk tunes on a roundabout in Gateshead, a drumming group and the piecing overhead cry of the red arrows dispersing red white and blue over the Tyne, and you get the 30th Great North Run from Newcastle to South Shields, the North’s answer to the London Marathon.
It can get a little rocky on the Tyne bridge as the joggers still fresh after a mile in clamber over to the clapping revelry of watchers and supporters. At points its like being on a boat as it bobs along the waves.Since beginning in 1981 the Great North Run is the largest half marathon in Europe, and estimates that over 1 million runners will have completed the course by the time it reaches its 35th anniversary.
Up with the larks this morning to take pictures I was greeted all round with good spirit, and being new to Newcastle it was a welcome pleasure in contrast to my London roots. The run really is an institution up here and one I hope to participate in this time next year. A jog on the Tyne sure is all fine, all fine.