Monday, October 13, 2008

England trip for Great North Run Sept/Oct 2008

I finally have photos from the race. It was too crowded at the finish line so they didn't get any of me there. Bummer! I have also added some other photos from the vacation.

What a fantastic race this was....yet again! I pulled off another PR here and this time it was by about 5 minutes! As usual, the crowds and atmosphere were great. After having a few rainy days before race day, race day turned out to be a perfect temperature for running. It was a little chilly at the starting area until about 9am and then the sun came out and it warmed up. The corrals were set up A-K - Richard was in C and I was in D. I didn't have any holdups in the beginning and got a good start.

My splits were as follows: 8:02, 8:06, 7:41, 8:11, 8:18, 8:08, 8:01, 8:15, 8:35, 8:27, 8:46, 8:23, 7:42, 1:02 = 1:47:37

I felt pretty strong and confident for almost the entire race. Mile 11, which was had a slight incline, was a little slower than I had wanted, but I ran the rest of the race very well. I am thrilled with my PR and can't wait for next year's Great North Run to see if I can pull off another one. ;o)

I always love it when Richard and I both run this race. I was also thrilled to have my parents and Tom there to cheer for me at the finish and meet up with us after the race. What a wonderful ending to a vacation!

This was Tom's first trip to England and I'm so happy that he enjoyed the experience. We enjoyed several fish and chip dinners and Tom enjoyed spending time chatting with my brother while drinking good English beer. Of course, he had to have Newcastle Brown Ale while he was there. We also went out running several times, went on a rainy hike with gail force winds that almost blew us off the mountain. We also got to go to Robin Hood's neighbourhood and see the Royal Oak at Sherwood Forest.

The made the trip up North for the Great North Run which included staying at my parents house in Rothbury where we were treated to beautiful views of the valley and got served wonderful meals by my parents. We also got to visit Alnwich castle, which is most recently known for the game played in the castle grounds in 'Harry Potter". We also went to Alnmouth, which is where I used to go to visit my grandmother.

View from my parents house in Rothbury

Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in England after Windsor Castle, and has been home of the Earls and Dukes of Northumberland since 1309. It has featured in many film and television productions over the years, and was seen recently in 'Elizabeth', 'Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves' and 'Robin of Sherwood'. The castle grounds are used as the location for some of Hogwarts' exteriors, for example the scene where Harry and his classmates have their first flying lesson with broomsticks.
Alnwick Castle


My grandmother's old house in Alnmouth

The GNR course map

Runners going over the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle

The Red Arrows flying over the Tyne Bridge

Me during the race

Richard running towards the finish line.

Tom and Declan

Sherwood Forest

Creswell Crags

Lake District by Castleton. Mam Tor is a famous viewpoint and landmark, rearing up above the valleys of Hope and Edale. Known as the 'shivering mountain', it is comprised of shale and the East face is a dramatic and loose expanse of crumbling rock. The area below the face is constantly on the move and each period of heavy rain undermines the loose shale and causes it to slip further down the valley. The former A625 main road from Stockport to Sheffield once went down this way but was swept away by a landslide in 1974 and has not been rebuilt.

Red Arrows display at South Shields after Great North Run

Back at Richard's house



  1. Wow Kate, nice pics...looks kinda stormy over there!

  2. wonderful photos --looks like you had a great trip (recognize Tom and your brother, even in those raincoats!!),
    even with the rainy, stormy England weather!