Great North Run – How our ladies held off the fast finishing Mo Farah on the South Shields sea front!

Emma Ballantyne and Charlotte Mason ran in the Elite Women’s race at the Great North Run, having achieved the qualifying time of 83 minutes. A strange situation for them compared to the massed crowd of runners filling the dual carriageway that you see on television. There were 28 starters, so plenty of space to warm up with the elite (they are allowed in front of the start line) – they found themselves next to Mo Farah in the queue for the elite toilets.

Both are training for the York Marathon, so the previous weekend Emma had run a 25 miles and Charlotte an 18, not the normal preparation for a half marathon at their level.

If you were looking, you could just see 2 City of York vests on the back row of the start on television. Although the leaders were soon away, there were a few women running round 83 minute pace, so they could see a few.

As they reached the sea front for the last mile, there were huge crowds, aware (from their app) that Mo was approaching – the Ladies set off 25 minutes before the men. But our ladies managed to reach the finish first. Emma ran 83m 30 for 19th place, and Charlotte 84m 38 for 23rd.

The club’s fastest finisher was Stephen Kirk, 80m 11s for 174th place of the 43,000

Lauren Eadon had a great run in her first half marathon, running 1h 43m 45s with a very strong second half. Position 3975, and 24th in her Over 50 category.

Dave Paver, who has done all 37 GNR’s and 30 years on from his pb of 73 08 on this course, ran 2h 03m for 14,284th.

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