A very special Great North Run

Well this year’s Great North Run took on a very different tone this year, after the sad passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. With the Great North 5k and both Mini and Junior Run postponed out of respect, it was touch and go whether GNR 2022 would even go ahead. But with tens of thousands of people turning up and millions being raised for charity, GNR announced it would remain in place in honour of her memory.

The atmosphere was certainly a different one as we gathered together in the pens once more. No more staggering or social distancing, back to our beloved (maybe not from miles 8 to 12!) 13.1 mile route to South Shields seafront. The mood was of optimism but tinged with sadness as tributes were paid and an emotional instrumental version of Local Hero echoed around us.

And then we were off. Would it be the same? Would that unmatched, continual support and warmth from the crowds still be there to help carry us through? Oh yes it would, and somehow it seemed even stronger. As usual the green and golds were out in force; some doing it for the first time since pulling on a Wallsend vest, some going for a PB, some simply running it for the enjoyment, others for a cause close to their hearts. Most in green and gold, with the odd inflatable unicorn in sight! The conditions were near on perfect, if not a tad warm; cloudy and almost windless. And we ran our hearts out all the way to that glorious sea-lined finish, with team mates dotted along the course in familiar places putting wings in our feet and a smile on our faces.

Congratulations to every single one of you amazing lot and thank-you to all our wonderful supporters along the way. What better way to honour an incredible lifetime of service. I like to think there was royalty shining down on us that day, feeling very proud of what the human race can achieve. 💚💛🇬🇧👑