September 16, 2023

The Great North Run 2023

Nick Gant reports

On Sunday 10th September there were seven MACs amongst the 60,000 or so runners at this year’s Great North Run.

As Dan Ashcroft alluded to some bloke called Mo has decided he’s had enough of running. There were lots of tributes to him on the big screen at the start including one from Brendan Foster. He has really let himself go since sharing the silver screen with Rachel Weisz in the Mummy movies.

Conditions on the start line were hot and humid. My watch showed 32C once I got moving. It cooled down as we headed to the coast with my watch showing 26C. For the later finishers they didn’t need the on course showers with thunderstorms coming in after lunch.

The route passes various traditional Tyneside landmarks including the Tyne Bridge and an abandoned vehicle in the middle of a roundabout.

It is not the most scenic route but there is great support all the way around with runners being offered all sorts of additional aid stations providing jelly babies, ice pops and, in one case, beer. There was even the occasional wiff of ‘herbal’ remedies.

First MAC home was Luke Beresford in 1:16:34. This earnt him 95th position and 12th in his age group! I was back in 1:26:21 in 482nd, next home was Matt Jackson in 1:27:19 for 548th.

Oliver Lloyd appears to have fully embraced the student training regime was 4,819th 1:49:00 but still managing to keep Jo Lloyd behind, she finished 17,357th in 2:13:25.

Getting home in just under 2:30 was Angela Maunder in 26,283rd with a time of 2:28:25. The final MAC home was Jennifer Quigley in 38,193rd place with a time of 03:03:22.

If you want scare the children some pictures of me trying to win the gurning category are here:

The men’s race was won by Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola in 59:58secs and the women’s was won by Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir in 1:06:45. Sir Mo Farah finished 4th in 1:03:28 and first in his age category. That MV40 category is super competitive.