Race Report - The Great North Run - 2016


The North, The Glorious North, my homeland ;)

Back again for the Great North Run, a hugely popular half marathon and a great event.

This year I have been injury free, but this year my diet went to pot! so I’m a bit heavier (getting the excuses in early) also I haven’t had a great deal of long runs in training this year, but, I don’t believe you need to be doing such long runs in training, I prefer double run days and running while fatigued.

The majority of my running this year has been: -

  • Tuesday evening - 7.2km (fast)
  • Wednesday morning - 6km (recovery)
  • Wednesday evening - 7.2km (fast)
  • Thursday morning - 6km (recovery)

Wednesday evening is pretty tough, but, its not a huge distance. This also has the advantage of getting all my running in in a mid week block, allowing 5 days of recovery. I have also continued with the strength and conditioning, 5 days a week of a mix of plyometrics and (now) Kettle Bells. As I get older, I need to concentrate on strength work.


Newcastle is an amazing city.


We had some fun on the way to the start line trying to find a good spectator sport for my Mother and Aniko, jumping fences and rummaging through the woods.


Anyway, the run!

The Run

My plan for the run was to PB, I’m not messing about, I wanted to run this half Marathon faster than I ever have before, I wanted a sub 01:30:00. The plan was to go out at a constant pace, try to maintain it until the end.


Unfortunately, that’s not me running with Mo ;)

Once again this year, I was placed in the first pen, just behind the elite runners.


This is me, the chunky bald hobbit.


Another small change this year was my running kit, instead of my usual Zoot tri-shorts, I was kitted out in Ashmei. Head to toe in merino wool that kept me nice and warm on the way to the start line. During the run I was nice and cool and really comfortable, I didn’t even get any blisters :D

I also left some kit behind. I usually run wearing headphones, but this year all I had with me was a gel and a cheap, small mobile phone. De-cluttered, running free.


I set off a little too quickly, its too easy to run off quickly in all the excitement of the start, but I eventually settled into a comfortable pace, aiming to maintain around 04:20min/km.


I love that every mile of this run has spectators cheering you on, there are bands along the route to keep us entertained and of course, Elvis was there, as he is every year.

Once I had passed Elvis, I started to flag a little. Its a long gradual up hill slog and I was feeling the effect of going off too quickly. I was passed by the 01:35 pace maker! 01:35!! my plan was to be sub 01:30! time to pick up the pace.

I dug in, passed him and made sure that he didn’t pass me again. The last section of the run is a steep downhill, then a left turn with a run along the coastline. I sprinted down the hill as fast as my legs would take me, then settled back into a pace that I could maintain until the finish. I pushed as hard as I could and threw myself over the finish line.


I gave it my all and I DID IT! a personal best!, the fastest that I have ever run a half marathon.


Result  -  01:32:56


Time to stretch and get my breath back, done it!


Result, 01:32:56


Once again, the Great North Run didn’t disappoint.

great weather, great people, great support and a PB.

I’m looking forward to running again next year.


  • 2 wholemeal bagels with honey and peanut butter
  • Pre race Hornet Juice in a 500ml bottle
  • 1 SIS Go gel
  • Post race SIS Whey50, Primal pantry protein bar.

Kit Used

  • Ashmei running shorts
  • Ashmei running vest
  • Newton Motion IV (smartwool socks)
  • Garmin VivoActive
  • Blue seventy race belt

Pictures by Aniko Towers