Jess Rigg and the GNR

28 September 2021

Around twelve years ago, I’d decided it was time to ‘get fit’ again, due to giving up rowing a few years prior. Having rowed for nearly a decade at Loughborough Boat Club, I felt there was a need to maintain some level of fitness after I’d worked hard to build it up.

Running was one of the activities I chose to start with, and from then on, I haven’t looked back. Perhaps predictably, I started to take part in the occasional half marathon (13.1 miles). To date, this is now the third time I’ve taken part and completed the Great North Run (GNR).

I received my entry through the ballot. For those who don’t know what this is, it simply means that when you enter the ballot, the entries are selected at random and you don’t have to run for a charity, unless you want to.

This year, the route was different than before. We started and finished on the Town Moor in Newcastle upon Tyne, this resulted in crossing the Tyne Bridge twice, which was a novel experience. Unfortunately, 10 miles in, my knee started hurting, so I made a quick pit-stop at a first aid tent and two paracetamols later, I was off.

My time overall was 2 hours 28 minutes and my position was 21,181 out of approximately 57,000 runners! Overall, I was quite pleased with the result, as the walking bits must have slowed me down.

This year, I didn’t run for charity, but for myself. I like the Great North Run and the atmosphere surrounding the whole event. It’s the only marathon I’ve done more than once.