Virtual Great North Run

Sunday 13th September should have been Great North Run day, the day of the year a lot of our athletes look forward to most.

For obvious reasons, there was no actual event this year, no 50,000+ runners heading across the Tyne Bridge and no “Oggy, Oggy, Oggy”, but that didn’t stop a lot of people taking on one of the virtual challenges set up by the organisers.

On the day itself, 16,000 people from 57 countries across 6 continents, including runners from every postcode in Britain took to the streets for a virtual half marathon.

A couple of highlights from a Darlington Harriers & Athletics Club perspective which deserve a mention are:

Harry Singh is one of an elite group of runners who have ran every single Great North Run – this year would have been his 40th running of the event. He certainly wasn’t going to miss out on this one, Harry finished in 3rd place in the 75 to 79 age group with a cracking time of 2:28.27 – well done Harry, great achievement (and well done on your BBC TV appearance too).

Harry speaking as part of the BBC TV coverage
Harry showing off the first and latest GNR medals on the BBC TV coverage

At the other end of the age groups (Harry had ran 23 or so Great North Runs before she was born!) , U17 Amy Atkinson, a graduate from our Couch 2 5K programme, finished in 4th place in the female U20 category with a PB time of 1:56.59.

A fantastic run for Amy, having started on the C25K programme, coached by Mike Watson and Jen Harrison, just two years ago, shows that you don’t have to stop at 5km, going from strength to strength over the longer distances.

Amy – ready for the start

Huge well done to all of our athletes who completed a Half Marathon on Sunday, whether that be an “official” Virtual GNR or just your own tribute to the event.

As well as the activities on the day itself, Great North Run ran a virtual challenge on the build up to the day, where runners were challenged to run 40 runs over 78 days, with runs logged and various mementos awarded.

We know many of our athletes took part in this challenge, with some running more miles than they ever have over the period – again, a HUGE well done to you all.

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