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12 August 2016 @ 08:26 pm
Great North 10K  
kargicq announced on Facebook that he had signed up for the Great North 10K and asked if anyone else felt like joining him so I said yes, because why not?

The Great North 10K is organised by the same people who do the Great Manchester Run. Their flagship run is a half marathon, The Great North Run, and the Great North 10K used part of that route through Gateshead and along the side of the Tyne. The first half of the final kilometre of the route had been crowdsourced with the name "The Slog on the Tyne". As the run approached this began to loom quite large in my mind (Manchester is pretty flat) with chatter in various social media places remarking on how terrible it was and kargicq advising against attempting to get a personal best on the day, though he also said the slog wasn't as bad as people were making out (while also mentioning that he had walked up it in 2015).

Before the race selfie

My plan for the race, therefore, was not to get too carried away. There was a fair amount of down at the start so I figured around 5:05m/km on the down, 5:20m/km on the flat and I'd take the slog at the end at whatever pace I could manage having, hopefully, still some reserves of energy at that point. While a smaller race than the Great Manchester Run, the route was also a lot narrower than I was used to and so it often felt more crowded - particularly on any upward inclines where people tended to slow down while I was generally trying to keep to the 5:20m/km pace I was using on the flat. There was a tight turn at the halfway mark, with an announcer encouraging everyone to "do an aeroplane" as they went around the turn. I aeroplaned around the corner and then got to wave at kargicq who was a couple of hundred metres behind me.

The slog really wasn't that bad. Below is the Strava log for the run. There was a big banner over the route at the start of the slog, so you can see from the log below where I slow down in alarm when I see the banner, decide actually that the slope isn't too bad, gradually accelerate up it, slow down for a moment at the top and then accelerate again as I sprint for the finish. The run finished in Gateshead stadium with the theme from Chariots of Fire playing as you enter the stadium. My final time was a respectable 52m 34s - faster than I ran the Great Manchester Run in 2015, though slower than my time this year.

After the race selfie

kargicq's daughter is a keen amateur photographer (mostly of birds) and I gather she is somewhat contemptuous of the quality of the official run photos and also amazed at the price they charge. As bunn has noted, its not necessarily that easy to get good shots of the runners and there are a lot expenses involved that may not be obvious to a 12-year-old. There were a lot of me, so I feel I got pretty good value.

I think this was somewhere around the 7K mark

Into Gateshead Stadium

Approaching the finish

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/203313.html.