Poor old Alan Hansen has been forced to eat humble pie for the last fifteen years, yes it was that long ago, when he predicted that Man Utd’s young team would not be up for challenging the more experienced sides – Scholes, Giggs, Beckham, Butt and the Neville brothers went on to win the double.
On the Great North Run weekend our “kids” were fantastic and there will have to be space made in the trophy cabinets at the McColgan and O’Sullivan households (slightly more of a challenge, I suspect, than it would be in most other households!) Sophie O’Sullivan won the under nine race by a fair distance and Martin McColgan took silver in the boys equivalent. Eamonn McColgan was running with older boys and one suspiciously much older runner.
With 200 metres to go he was neck and neck with the camera carrying much older runner when he really started to wind it up. The crowd thought he might have gone too early but, eyeballs out, he kept his arms and knees pumping, and with 150 metres to the line he put clear daylight between him and that persistent older chap who had done his best to match the sprint finish but just wasn’t up to it on the day; all he could he could see was his son’s clean pair of heels disappearing into the distance! No medals this year, but a shaky photo of himself going through the finish line.
Eden started all the junior races and was up on a cherry picker strutting her stuff with someone dressed as a banana and the warm up king before they all got going – the exercise DVD will be on the shelves for Christmas. On the Gateshead side of the river, the band kept everyone entertained and Dave, Stacey and Ray had quite a following for their martial arts’ displays.
Sunshine on Saturday, smiles on Sunday
They say The Great North Run always has sunny weather – not this year. It was wet and shiny when the alarm went off for the early breakfast but it didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. Two coaches to be filled, rooms to be checked out of, numbers to be dished out and pinned to vests, bananas to be eaten, or in some cases worn, ponchos to be put on and then off to the start.
Tony Audenshaw wondered why his popularity had soared as he kept on getting more than his fair share of smiles and good mornings – all thoughts of renegotiating his contract went out of the window when someone pointed out that the bottom half of his banana costume was making an impressive appearance from under his shiny red waterproof. It went well with his trademark cheeky-chappy smile.
Interviews and challenges
Pick up some water and off to the start: David James was there again – he is clearly desperate to get on the team. There were interviews a-plenty and tons of photographs. The BBC had a 5 Live team there and talked to Liz – and the lovely Jonathan Edwards spoke to Tony, Jeff, Liz and Sonia for BBC 1. Matthew dressed as Superman and Nicola as Superwoman looked to have an unfair advantage after being carried to the start but they were soon dropped and made to trudge in the wet like everyone else.
Everyone got round without any undue upset and Sonia managed to pass 25,313 people after starting right at the back – utter madness. What a great achievement, it’s not often a world class runner WANTS to start at the back. A good time was had by all and a HUGE thank you to everyone for taking part. As Cathy Gilman, Chief Executive of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, said on Saturday evening the team inspires so many people to run and the charity raised over £300,000 over the weekend.