Great North Run: Wearside runners beat the heat to complete half-marathon

Sunderland fan Peter Ollivere headed straight to the Black Cats' match against Tottenham after completing the Great North Run.

Sunderland fan Peter Ollivere headed straight to the Black Cats' match against Tottenham after completing the Great North Run.

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The heat did not get the better of Wearside running hopefuls as they soaked up the ‘unbeatable’ atmosphere of the Great North Run.

Runners from across the area took part in the half-marathon between Newcastle and South Shields, and the weather conditions presented an extra challenge.

Tony Allinson

Tony Allinson

Sunderland fan Peter Ollivere, 36, faced another race after completing the run in 1:44, as he hot-footed his way to the Stadium of Light for the Black Cats’ game against Tottenham.

Mr Ollivere, from Consett, said: “I think I got a personal best. I had to beat 1:44, and I think I did it.

“It was hot, and I was pleased I wasn’t dressed as a honey monster.

“It was an amazing atmosphere. Next year, now I’ve beaten my personal best, I think I’ll dress as a honey monster.

This is the biggest half-marathon in the world, and the atmosphere is unbeatable

Tony Allinson

“It was a bit of a hectic day, with having to get to the match after that, but all very worthwhile.”

Tony Allinson, 42, from Silksworth, beat the pain of a broken toe to complete the race in an impressive time of 1:38.

He was running the race for the charity Included, and raised £550.

He said: “I broke my toe about five weeks ago, and it’s killing me.

Kevin Doherty

Kevin Doherty

“I normally do the race in about 1:25, so in the circumstances this wasn’t bad.

“This is the biggest half-marathon in the world, and the atmosphere is unbeatable.

“I don’t mind running in the sun.”

Kevin Doherty, meanwhile, who is orginally from Blackburn but now living in Sunderland with girlfriend Nicola Carr, raised about £300 for Grace House before completing the race in 1:50.

Duncan Mitchell

Duncan Mitchell

He said: “I’m 45, but feeling 60 at the moment!

“Myself and my girlfriend both ran the race, and between us, we raised about £300.

“I was hoping for 1:50, but I was still pleased to complete the race, having first done it 23 years ago.

“It was a fantastic atmosphere, and that’s always a great help.”

Duncan Mitchell, who runs for Sunderland Harriers, is a consultant at Sunderland Royal Hospital, and crossed the finish line in a time of 1:50.

Mr Mitchell, 50, from Roker, said: “I’m fairly pleased with my time.

Brian Cairns

Brian Cairns

“It’s the first time I’ve done the Great North Run, having done a few other marathons and half-marathons.

“The atmosphere was brilliant and kept me going, especially on some of the difficult hilly sections and with the heat. It was a great turnout.”

Commercial director Brian Cairns, aged 45, from High Barnes, completed the course in 1:35.

The Sunderland Stroller said: “It was hot, which was a big barrier to overcome.

“That made it even more tiring, but I could have done more training.

“My personal best is 1:33, so I wasn’t far off that.

“It was very difficult going through the Nook, but I managed to hold on and I got myself there in the end.”

Nissan worker Peter Shaw, 36, from Silksworth, told a similar tale of the heat taking its toll.

He completed the race in 1:35.02, and said: “This is my third year in a row of doing it, and this one was more difficult than usual due to the heat.

“This was my first Great North Run as a harrier, and I was aiming for 1:32.

“It was very enjoyable, but very hot.”

Peter Shaw

Peter Shaw