Almost 50,000 participants took part in Newcastle's annual Great North Run in England last Sunday. Included in that number was Munich Eye's journalist, Laura Ritchie-Roberts, who completed the 13.1 mile course in 1 hour 56 minutes.
Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah was selected as an official starter for the race alongside fellow Olympian long jumper Greg Rutherford, boxer Nicola Adams, Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds and rower Kat Copeland.
Double Olympic champion Farah was due to run the race for the first time this year but was forced to pull out due to the recent birth of his twin daughters. Regarding the decision he said: "The last few weeks have taken their toll and it would be disrespectful to take on the distance without the necessary hard training."
Wilson Kipsang won the men's event with a time of 59 minutes and 6 seconds while Ethiopia's Olympic 10,000m champion Tirunesh Dibaba clinched the women's title on her very first attempt at the Great North Run. The wheelchair race was won in 43 minutes 18 seconds by Josh Cassidy from Canada.
The Great North Run was first held in 1981 and follows a route from the Central Motorway in Newcastle to the coast at South Shields via the Tyne Bridge, Felling Bypass and John Reid Road. Since it's humble beginnings, when it was advertised as a local fun run in June 28th 1981, it has gradually developed into one of the world's most famous road races and the UK's biggest mass participation event. 12,000 Runners took part in 1981 in comparison to 2011 when 54,000 people took to the streets of Newcastle to run the iconic route. Only the London marathon, which takes place every spring, comes close to attracting a similar number of participants.
Laura ran the half marathon on behalf of sense. As a national charity supporting children and adults who are deafblind, sense helps people with dual sensory impairments by providing advice and information as well as specialist services. (http://www.sense.org.uk/)