Running 13 miles… it was fun, no really, it was!

On Sunday 18th of September Me, Roy Gibson; who’s previous running achievements were being in top 30 cross country runners at St Wilfrid’s for two years running many years ago, ran the 13 miles of the Great North Run 2011 for Newcastle to South Shields. Not only that but I did it in 2 hours and 13 minutes so here is my story of my day.

It’s how ****ing late?

So I and almost all the runners in York converged on platform 6 early Sunday morning for the ONLY train to Newcastle which will enable you to arrive in time to get to the start line and warm up. Then news starts to filter through that the train is delayed, no big deal we have at least 40 minutes to play with for this. So at first it’s 13 minutes, then 23, then 30 then 45… during this time the poor East Coast rep was being engagaed by pumped up runners much in the same way the documentary ‘Airport’ seemed to be a weekly lesson on how to shout at Airport staff.

The excuse was engineering works on the line, even so, by the time we left York the train was a huge 55 minutes delayed. This put me on edge, knowing that I had to travel to the start line on foot and deposit my bag in the bag bus before it leaves, and prepare for the biggest run I’ve ever undertaken.

Stuff it, no one is watching…

As I thought I would arrive with about half an hour at least to spare I thought I’d have a lot of time to get changed, I didn’t. So for the people walking by a square which I started to get changed in with a few other people, i’m sorry and you saw NOTHING.

After that it was a quick paced jog to the buses to make it on time, and when I have never done a run with this many people it is a little odd. So against the odds I go to the start line with 25 minutes to spare!

Annnnnd Run.

So after a Mr Motivator style warm-up we were underway and the thing that hit me was that the race was like a race of broken hearted people. When I started there were runners for cancer charities, age related charity, and the most heart wrenching of all a baby hospice, my goodness I nearly couldn’t run a BABY HOSPICE with a 6 week old at home. Well I did get running and it was the best run of my life, really good spirited runners, people on both sides of the run for the whole 13 miles!


1 A little girl with a CF t-shirt on was asking her mum to show here a CF runner as she couldn’t see anyone, just as she asked I ran by and said ‘come on! running for CF’ her little face lit up and this kept me running for most of the race. There was a good chance she or someone she knew had CF and to be honest that’s what I was running for.

2 The first Powerade station – this came in oh 4-5 miles in and my goodness that stuff delivers energy! It was such a relief as the first few miles are up then down, up then down and repeat in a similar fashion.

3 The kindness of people – as mentioned above the streets where lined with people and some of the best roadside gifts were jelly babies, ice lollies and orange slices. On top of that all the kids wanted you to high five them which was fun.

And finally

Just a quick mention to a some guys who had my ultimate respect, the first was a guy with a FRIDGE tied to his back! That’s right, he was shaped like a fridge and had a fridge tied to him running 13 miles, respect where respect is due. There were also fire crews and army lads in FULL fighting / combat gear, that is some way to run with all that gear attached to you.

So I finished the Great North Run in 2 hours and 13 minutes, which was a good time (for me), and I’m happy with it. I then returned to Newcastle Central and ate a large Burger King.


So a massive thanks to everyone who has helped me get to £525 worth of sponsor money, one person even gave me £100 and I’ll never find out who that was so a big thanks to them. If you would still like to sponsor me then my just giving page is here

Thanks for reading.


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