The GREAT North Run
It is impossible to talk about the Great North Run without first saying how tragic it is that someone died this weekend. You don't think that in an event which raised lots of money for charities, has a strong elite race, and just gets that number of people out on the street is going to end like that. To the family of David Colley, I, like thousands of others, would want to pass on our respects. He had competed in several Great North Runs and had enjoyed doing them. I hope his family are able to find some peace in that
There is still lots to celebrate about the day. I saw just about every participant go past me at the 8.5 mile mark (the water station on John Reid Road), and we tried to give bottles of water to every single one of them. It was a warm day (and it was certainly warm if you were running), but we continually shouted to people to drink. One person tried not to take a bottle of water from me and I told them that they would feel better if they drank it. They looked me up and down and then realised that I used to do the GNR so they then, slightly meekly, took the bottle from me and drank some. We are not there to nag, but drinking a little bit as you go around really does make a difference.
It didn't feel like there were quite so many people in fancy dress costume this year, but my favourite was Colin Burgin-Plews who with a mate, 'Big Jon' Green (both men are at least 6'6") ran dressed as Beauty and the Beast. Their costumes were quite simply a work of art. Just stunning, and the fact that they managed to walk in costume that far is a testament to how important it is to raise money. In this case they were raising money for breast cancer. There were also lots of women raising money for that cause, and the emotional part is when you see the names of those they are running for (who have had cancer). When you see 'Grandmother', 'Mother' and 'me' all on the same T shirt you cannot help but be moved.
There are always lots of women in run in their bra's and I am sure that I saw one man this year as well. I don't think I would have been brave enough to ever do that but good on them. I have to say thank you to everyone who ran past and said hello. It makes the day worthwhile to know that we are helping out just a little bit.