The Great North Run is world’s second largest half marathon (the largest is in Gothenburg, Sweden), held in Newcastle in September where the London Marathon is the world’s largest marathon, which took place on Sunday.
Both events are huge (over 37,000 runners ran London this year), and the majority of the runners are running for charity (74% of entrants at London ran for charity, raising £52million). Unlike most athletic events, where trained professionals make us feel guilty for slouching on the sofa, the Great North and London Marathon is about the everyman (and everywomen). Watching the events you see the ambition, struggle, determination and raw emotion of the runners, many who have hardly ran in their lives before taking up the challenge. It’s the most inspiring event you’ll ever see, it fills you with pride seeing everyone succeeded. It also caused me to spend the whole say with a childish grin on my face from seeing the streets packed full of crowds showing their support, making ear-ringing noise. Run Dem Crew went all out and invaded Mile 21 to show their support for the members of the crew who ran. You can check out some of the amazing photos and videos at mile21.co.uk.
Even with the sad events in Boston, the marathon felt larger than ever like everyone was determined not to let the bastards spoil it. Most runners ran with a ribbon to show that our thoughts were with the victims of mindless act, and it felt fitting that Tatyana McFadden (who won the Women’s Elite Wheelchair event in Boston 6 days before) won the Women’s wheelchair event.
Needless to say, as soon as the ballot opens on Monday I’ll be trying to get a place, fingers crossed everyone.