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Great North Run 2007

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Our Great North Hawaiian Experience 2007

Pam Edmunds writes:-


Our Journey started on Saturday at 8.00am  with Gail and Kevin - As in Dublin our men decided to accompany us on this long trip to Newcastle .  We were shortly to meet up with Sheryl and Paul and before we knew it we had checked in a lovely B&B that Phil & Rita had kindly recommended to us and with a sea view as well !
By mid after noon Raj and her man had arrived and we were basking in the Geordie sunshine, men tasting the ale  and discussing last minute preparations for our big run.

The girls decided to go the pasta party but after the 1 hour journey it took us to get there, we wished we hadn't , especially as Sheryl had parked on a maximum of 2hours on Asda carpark  but at least we got to see part of the course and where we were going to start and finish - what a magnificent coastline with waves crashing and even surfers !  We all  caught a glance of the ' 800m to go' sign and really wished we were there now ! We all probably did PBs back to the carpark expecting to find a parking fine but we were ok !

Saturday night we met up with Tracey Bennett and Derek to wine and dine ( well a red tastes better than a sleeping tablet!)  at a fabulous Italian restaurant then all took to our beds feeling rather full !
Alarm clocks went off at 5.45am , ready for our porridge and after a few photos and a liberal application of Vaseline, we were on the shuttle bus taking us to  the starting line feeling cold and nervous.

After what seemed like a never-ending journey we found our way to the assembly field and Wow what a sight, there were thousands of  people,  reports were of some 75,000 including spectators, with 55,000 of them runners. Sadly we didn't get to see any of the other Dudley Ladies, Lou etc it was just too packed.

We got changed into our hoola hoola outfits ( reluctantly for some may I add )  topped up on the carbs with bananas,  then that bloomin'  sun came out again and we just had time for a quick pee but sadly not long enough to use the portaloos with mile long queues  - yes it was in the bushes we went but we weren't alone !! 

We were in Pen H which was 2 Pens from the back which seemed  miles from the starting line. The atmosphere was electric, red arrows were passing so low overhead that you felt you could almost touch them. The music was very loud, which seemed like you were at a big carnival and everyone had bright smiles on their faces - The men had a treat as we saw Steve Mclaren as well as Bobby Robson, Carol Vordaman, James Cracknell and numerous soap stars being interviewed by Sue Barker.

Then it was time to say good bye to the men as we peeled off our bin bags and our had good luck kisses , we were  ready to start  ...............at least we thought we were, it took 22 minutes to actually cross the start line and there were still thousands behind us.

This 22 minutes was very nerve racking - Tracey B and Sheryl in particular were feeling more than apprehensive, Sheryl because she had a sore throat and cold which was a shame as she had trained so well  & Tracey Bennett who has only ever run 9 miles and never attempted a half marathon, let alone the biggest one in the world. I too was scared as I'm sure Gail and Raj were as the atmosphere just builds up the tension ..................ooooh there go the Red arrows again !!

As we gently ambled to the start line Tracey looked at me frightened and said "Oh no we gotta run now haven't we ??".... I replied  "cmon you'll be absolutely fine" and she was .

The crowds were magnificent and we had lots of  encouraging shouts of "Cmon Hoola Lasses,  you are looking good -  keep going" in an endearing Geordie accent , from little children to old ladies and well oiled men

There were 15 music bands on the route from bagpipes to brass bands to pop music, fantastic!   Sheryl got quite emotional and there were lots of Goosebumps moments for all of us as we entered  tunnels and crossed the Tyne Bridge everyone  chanting 'Oggy Oggy Oggy....!' which seemed to echo around the whole of Newcastle - It was like being in a massive team of thousands.

The weather was hot AGAIN but we kept well hydrated  ( if you ever want to plan a day out, go when we are racing cos the sun always shines ! ) - Showers on the route helped tremendously . At 10 miles we were all more or less at the 1hr.50 mark -  There are a few hills but quickly followed by down hills which I found OK. However the 11 mile one was a killer but again the support from the spectators gets you through it and at this point you know you have only 2 miles left !
And there it was ...the 800m to go sign ,I loved this sign !!!   From this point the noise level increases and it took everything to contain emotions that very soon we will have done It ................and we did ! 

A very scenic finish along the coast line was all too much and I crossed the line with a very emotional , very proud of herself Tracey Bennett  in 2 hrs 25mins . I was very proud of her , as a few years ago I couldn't imagine she would have run 1 mile let alone 13.1 miles . Well done ! 

Raj , Gail and Sheryl came in shortly after , all completed in very good respectable times , Sheryl with a virus as well  and still with grass skirts intact & flowers in the hair !! Mission accomplished  - Well done girlies

As it would have taken us 3 hours to get off the carpark  we had to shelter in the pub  ha-ha!  Once back in the room we celebrated with 2 bottles of champers and chocolates, comparing blisters., followed by a well earned Balti.

We returned home the next day with a very smart medal to add to our collection and more fantastic memories that we can treasure and add to our book of runs!

If you are thinking of doing a half marathon ,this has to be the one. I think it has all what London has to offer if not more and only half the training ......Tracey Bennett has already entered for next year ....shall I ...shan't I ???..............................Pammy x

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For More Information Contact:

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Tel 01902 898202 or
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Site Last modified: January 29, 2016