Busy day.   Taxi came at 8.30am to take me, Becky and Mike into Newcastle.  We were dropped off at the railaway station.  Becky and Mike then walked to the start of the Great North Run and I got the Metro to South Shields where the run finishes.  Even though it was early in the day the Metro was packed - but I did manage to get a seat.

Once in South Shields it was a 25 to 30 min walk to the finishing area.  When I got there I was amazed to find so many people already there - sitting on chairs, inside tents and looking like they had been there for hours.  I had to walk quite a way to find a spare spot by the side of the road in the finishing straight.  My  spot  was quite near the marker which showed there was 400 metres to go till the finish.

Almost as soon as I was in place the wheelchair winner came along and not long after was the winner of the ladies race.  Then Mo Farah appeared.  He was flying along as you can see from my blip shot. 

I was using the tracking app and I could see Ben (Becky and Mikes next door neighbour ) would be the next to finish.  Managed to spot him and take a photo.  Then I tracked Mike so that I knew when he would be coming by- and I did spot him when he passed me.

Then it all went a bit haywire,  The app stopped working - in fact everyones app stopped working due to so many people using the internet and overloading it.  So I had no idea where Becky, Neil and Rachael were on the course.  I kept looking but its hard to keep your focus for long when watching a sea of runners coming towards you.  The first I saw of Neil was when he appeared right in front of me and said " Hi Mam " - and then he ran off.  So I knew Becky would be next.  Then Mike texted to ask where I was standing - and he came to join me.  Then I got a message from Becky saying that it was so crowded that she couldn't run as she was boxed in so she was having to walk so she was taking longer than predicted.  When she did come past us she was accompanied by Ben who had gone back along the course to find her and run in with her. 

Then Neil came to join Mike and I - and after a while Becky and Ben arrived.  See my blip shot of the four finishers. Then the Red Arrows flew over.  I thought they would just do a flypast and then go but they put on a really good show looping the loop and doing all sorts of manouevres.   I have put a photo in my Extras.  It was wonderful to see.

So then we waited for Rachael.  Of course we had no idea where she was on the course.  We had no predicted time as Rachael had never done a half marathon before. (or any other run for that matter ) And we were worried we wouldn't spot her as the runners were coming in thick and fast.  In the end Rachael spotted us and ran over to greet us.  Then she rejoined the other 3 girls she had been running with and they sped off to the finish line.  Neil left us to go and meet her at the finish.   Ben went off to find his cousin who had also been running.

Becky, Mike and I walked back into South Shields.  We didn't want to catch the Metro straight away as we had been warned that they would be very busy and it was best to wait till the rush did down.  We headed for Colemans - an award winning fish and chip shop.  We thought we would just get takeaway but amazingly the restaurant had a spare table so were sat inside.  I was so glad to be able to sit down after standing for hours and hours. And of course the runners were glad of the rest. As usual the fish and chips were top notch. 

Then we headed for the Metro.  It was mayhem.  The queues were unbelieveable.  The waiting time to get on a metro train was 1½ hours.  We thought getting a bus might be better - and it was.  Only a 15 min wait for a bus to Newcastle.  It was full and we had to stand all the way - but at least we were moving.  Then a 10 min wait in Newcastle for a bus home.

We got back home around 5.45pm.  We were all glad just to sit and chill out for a while.  Becky and Mike had a relaxing bath and later on we walked down to the village to have a meal in Wetherspoons.  I chose ham and cheese panini with chips.  Very tasty.

A liesurely walk home - and an early night for the runners.

I got stuck in uploading my photos - and finally posting my blip. 

In case anyone is interested here are the finishing times and positions of " my " runners. ( the total number of runners who started the race was around 43,000)

Ben         1 hr 14 mins   Position        36th  ................... How good is that!
Mike       1 hr 31 mins  Position       605th
Neil        1 hr 42 mins  Position   2,283rd
Becky     1 hr 54 mins  Position   5,963rd
Rachael  2hrs 29 mins  Position  25,187th

Well done to them and all the runners who took part today - you were all amazing. 

***** Apologies for lack of comments - I just haven't had the time.  Once my visitors have gone I will be able to settle down and catch up with everyone's blips from over the weekend.

My steps today ------- 24,481

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