On Sunday 16th September 2012 thousands of runners and several celebrities turned out on a brisk autumn morning to take on the challenge of running a stunning half marathon through the streets of Newcastle and finishing to a roaring crowd on the coast of South Shields.
As the runners gathered in the morning they enjoyed light hearted banter with each other while they prepared for the challenge ahead. Some were going for a personal best time, some raising vital money for charity, and some trying to do both! Among the fifty thousand or so competing were 22 intrepid runners in particular who were proudly wearing a Spinal Research green running vest.
As the Spinal Research runners went through their final preparations, stretching and warming up, the volunteers and cheerers for the team got to work on setting up a fabulous cheering point on the course at Mile 8. The atmosphere around the course, and the cheering point, was fantastic. Seeing so many charities’ together cheering on all the runners was a particularly nice sight. It was also great to see TeamGB stars such as Mo Farah, Greg Rutherford, and Ellie Simmonds start the race in golden style!
The cheering team were busy the whole race encouraging all the runners, clapping, and banging inflatable clappers. We even got many runners to do the Mobot while they past by! When one of the Spinal Research runners approached the cheering point the noise and encouragement intensified as our excitement grew on seeing them proudly whizzing past us.
The weather decided to turn a bit rainy during the race with intermittent showers but this didn’t stop our cheering team and was actually ideal for runners to keep then cool. It did get a little sunny after the race, unfortunately it didn’t last very long! The elite athletes races saw the first man being Wilson Kipsang finishing in a fantastic 59mins 6secs, with Tirunesh Dibaba being the first women in 1hr 7mins 35secs. The Spinal Research runners also did well with their times and Tony Starling was the first to finish in 1hr 47mins 59secs.
Robin Plowman, Running & Challenge Fundraiser for Spinal Research said “A fantastic day was had by all and we cannot express how much we appreciate all the hard work and effort that went into fundraising, training, and the race itself. Also a big thank you to our volunteers as without them there would have been a very quiet cheering point! The support you’ve provided and the money you have raised will go towards our vital research to help provide treatments and hopefully one day reverse paralysis.”
The Spinal Research Team