Yesterday was the Great West Run.
The half-marathon went past the end of the road so I wandered down to Sainsbury’s – the turning point on the second loop - and gave them a wave and a bit of encouragement.
From the first (Tom Merson [1: 10.16] and Andrew Chambers of Bristol and West Ac) …
To the almost last…
And those who stopped for a while…
And those who walked for a bit…
Every single one of the runners had my admiration.
Who are those guys?
A massive 2098 people finished and a handfull had to drop out but at least they tried.
These folk would have turned out to support Steph whatever the weather but it was pleasant to do so in the sunshine.
I think this was Lucy Commander, the winner of the women’s race [1 hour 25:29]. Certainly this girl was far out in the lead of the other girls at this stage.
Numbered 7 and came in seventh – Matt Clake [1 hour 14:36].
This was the 1 hour 30 pace maker. I'm always amazed that people can tell at what pace they are running.
The morning began cool and dry - probably ideal conditions for a long run. But just as the race started the sun came out – and it stayed out. It wasn’t overly warm but then I wasn’t running.
Some of the participants (nearly all whom were running for charity) dress up and there were…
Some elves (St John ambulance, the UK's leading first aid charity, always attend our sporting events)
ELF is the Exeter Leukaemia Fund.
And there was a banana
who was keeping well ahead of the gorilla in case he got eaten.
Name the game…
And so many charities supported –
Breast Cancer was a popular one
while the others included Marie Curie Cancer Care, BRACE - funding research into Alzheimer's, and Shelterbox - an international disaster relief charity
Everyone got applauded and cheered on wherever they were.
Top marks to these girls who were applauding and shouting encouragement to everyone from front to very back.
The good old – well rather young actually – British bobbies were there to ensure all went OK.
There was a pirate – whose progress was slowed by regular stops to let the little people add to the weight he was carrying.
(Hints for future charity runners - I wish more people had carried buckets – I had lots of pound and two pound coins with me to dish out but I only saw two buckets the whole time. I suspect there were other watchers who would have been similarly equipped. I also wish the other holder of a bucket had run on the kerb side of his group, not out in the middle of the roadway.).
I watched the race in 2010 but last year I wasn't down here in Exeter. During the Great West Run 2011 a runner, Paul Smith, became ill and sadly passed away. This year a group of his family and friends took part in his memory. They were running for Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome - SADS UK. That’s what nearly killed Fabrice Muamba. I think perhaps this was one of Paul Smith’s group.
If you are interested in contributing to SADS you can do so on-line via his sister Charmaine’s page .
Two more runners taking part for SADS. They may have been near the back but very well done to them!
Mickey Mouse took part.
And so did a Viking
You have to be happy with your masculinity to run like this!
An udder runner.
And running with full kit for the Mark Marshall Youth Fund.
Sadly I didn’t get a picture of my favourite T shirt - a girl runner had ‘I Love Running’ on the front and ‘NOT!’ on the back.
Yet more charities...
The last stretch.
Runners are still coming in....
But for some the race is now over and they can make their way home, satisfied with a good morning’s