In but a scant few days I will be joining 57,000 (give or take a thousand or two…) other people to take part in the Great North Run. It’s the geet big ‘un! Although it’s not the longest run in the Great Run family, it’s the biggest and bestest half marathon in Europe and the event that started that whole thing. It’s a bit large, and the queues for the portaloos are a bit long, and it’s a bit noisy, and it’s a bit crowded, and it’s a bit cheesy, but dammit it’s honest and it’s local and it’s wonderful. The crowd, the runners, the stories, the view, the atmosphere 😀

Red Arrows at the finish – 2015

This will be my third time, and I’m really looking forward to it! I was a little bit late to the start last year and only just squeezed into my starting pen before the barriers closed, so this year I want to be a bit more relaxed and set off in good time. I’ll also be using public transport to get myself home all by my bit self, so preparation and a decent race day bag is essential.

Basically it’s what I carry every day anyway in a bright red bag. Woo.



  1. Bright colour! Because it’s going to be squashed under a load of other bags in a bus for hours and you’ll want to find it quickly.
  2. Tiny toiletries: Hand sanitiser for the portaloos, sunscreen stick, deodorant so you don’t stink up the bus ride home.
  3. Massive bottle of water brought from home. You’ll get plenty after you’re done but you know you’ll get chips from the van with salt and vinegar so don’t forget to hydrate.
  4. Tissue and Wet Wipes. For cleaning, freshening, and… well… just in case.
  5. Camera! You’ve come a long way, may as well get some snaps while you’re here.
  6. Battery pack for your phone so you can update your Strava/selfies/let loved ones know you’re all good. Mostly Strava and selfies, though come on 😉
  7. MONEY FOR CHIPS. And bus fare.
  8. Portable book device. For readin’.

This is my basic kit without snacks, which I’ll put together and update closer to the time, and clothing, which usually depends on where I am in the wash cycle on the day before. I will try to do a little bit about those in the name of having a well-prepared and relaxed half marathon. It’s just a big run with a load of other people, it’s fine!