I’ve been in Newcastle for six years and last Sunday was the first time I went to see the famous Great North Run, seriously. It was a lovely day. I set off with my camera and my bike.
For those who knows nothing about the Great North Run:
The Great North Run is the second largest half marathon in the world, taking place annually in North East England each September. Participants run between Newcastle upon Tyne and South Shields in the county of Tyne and Wear. The first Great North Run was staged on 28 June 1981, when 12,000 runners participated. This year (the 34th), the number of participants had risen to 57,000. For the first year it was advertised as a local fun run; nearly thirty years on it has become one of the biggest running events in the world, and the biggest in the UK. – Wiki
I don’t like running at all. This was probably the closest I would get to running. Even so, I’m so proud of it!
I cycled past the Town Moor and saw groups of runners moving towards the starting line.
I wondered if the cows were bothered by so many people at all…
Got in town at about 9:30. There was a sea of runners, returned students and shoppers.
Masses of people went through Newcastle Uni campus!
I locked my bike on the railings of the footbridge near Northumbria University, which was about 10 to 15 minutes from the starting line. There were some people waiting there already. I probably got the last good position.
I couldn’t find much information about the programme, so really not sure who was who. But racers started to arrive and the crowd started to cheer!
These cool guys arrived first of all – the elite wheelchair racers. They were REALLY REALLY fast!
And then it was the group of elite women runners. (Sorry about the very brief and general descriptions. But I really have no idea who they are…)
Then a few pairs of blind runners with their guides.
I liked the job of this cycling person.
And these guys followed.
Then suddenly, there was a van with a lot of people sitting on it facing backwards. Must be the journalists I thought. There must be someone interesting/important coming!
To be honest, I really didn’t know who these guys were, even the one right in the middle. (It was Mo Farah just in case you really don’t know, like me, who won the run later on.)
After those famous guys. Normal people finally started to arrive! I really shouldn’t say “normal” people. Because every runner was great! People on the bridge cheered non-stop. It was lovely to see runners waving and smiling at us!
Looking the other direction:
I got off the footbridge and decided to go towards the Tyne Bridge.
That’s the footbridge I was standing on earlier:
I headed towards the Tyne Bridge as fast as I could, I didn’t want to miss anything. When I was carrying my bike down another footbridge, the Red Arrows went over my head! I barely had time to drop my bike on the stairs (and hoped it wouldn’t slide down the bridge) and capture the moment.
As soon as I turned the last corner and saw Tyne Bridge in the distance, I knew it was the right decision to come here.
I resisted the temptation to jump into the middle of the motorway and join those stood around the pillar.
One of the highlights is of course the costumes! I spent some time spotting them. A lot of them were fun and impressive! Some of them were “old” faces – people see them every year, like ‘Tony the Fridge’ and Minnie Mouse!
All photos by Rong Fu.