Great North Run 2007


Contrary to my initial report we actually had 7 and not 6 people running for Team Graeme. Our apologies and many thanks to Roger.

Everyone completed the run and many congratulations to them all for a wonderful effort. The runners were, Graeme's sister Rachel, Sara Knox, James and Jonathan Stout, Lynsey Hegarty (nee Glover), Roger Douglas and David Miller.

David is an old hand having completed the run about 15 times before and Roger has also done it many times! For Lynsey it was her fifth time but for the other four it was their first time so a brilliant effort and hopefully worth all the training. They may not have thought so when they woke up on Monday morning.


Rachel's efforts were captured by BBC TV in the highlights show of the run on Sunday evening. We have a 10 second video clip of Rachel just before the finishing line. There is also a brief clip showing David but if any of the others are there we have not seen them. We have the whole of the two BBC programmes of the race if anyone wants to trawl through it. Unfortunately copyright prevents us from showing clips here but you can come and watch at Team Graeme HQ.


We had posted some photos of the run on the message board but unfortunately this has now been taken down. We will try to post some here.

If anyone has any other photos of the event please upload them via the message board or contact Keith


If you have not already done so you can still make a donation for the Team Graeme Runners

To do so please visit our on-line donation page

Team Graeme GNR 2007 Stories

Our story of the day is below followed by those of Rachel and Lynsey tewlling of their experience of the day.

Anne and Keith's Story

The Great North Run is something that we have seen on TV but have never been to watch in person and have certainly never participated. This year of course was different and since Rachel and a small group of Graeme's friends were running for Team Graeme we had to go. It was the Team's first attempt at the GNR and for some the training was easier than for others. Rachel had been given a place as an independent runner so that she was not obliged to collect sponsorship for any particular charity. Jonathan, James and Sara had a place on behalf of Cancer Research UK and so could only give money to our fund after they had raised the minimum some for CRUK. Either way they were all running for Team Graeme and in memory of Graeme. Lynsey had done the run four times before and also had a non-tied place as had David who had run the race 14 times before!!!! The other runner Roger is also an old hand and a friend of Lynsey's. These three were raising money solely for Team Graeme.

Anne and I were going up to support everyone but were not sure if we would be able to see anyone. With the possibility of 50,000 runners and 85,000 spectators it could be difficult. Anyway at the last minute we decided to try to get to the Tyne Bridge and see people there and rush off to South Shields and see them at the finish. Anyway that was the plan. On Friday just two days before the race we decided to make a banner and so I rushed off into Stockton on Saturday to buy some orange material to make the banner. We thought that if we had something conspicuous people might see it and then us. Making the banner took much longer than expected and this was mainly due to the lettering. We wanted the banner to look professional and so spent a bit of time printing out large outlines of Team Graeme with each letter on an A4 piece of paper. It took a while because they needed cutting out before tracing onto the banner and then painting them black. If you don't stand too close it looks pretty good. A couple of broom handles served as the poles but sewing the material took the two of us until well after midnight on the Saturday. When we saw the Team after the race on Sunday Jonathan kindly pointed out that it was obvious which parts had been sewed by Anne. Thanks Jonathan.

Sunday morning we left about 8.30 to ensure finding a good spot to park the car near the Gateshead Metro and close to the Tyne Bridge. After driving around for a while we parked and walked to stand right at the end of the bridge where the BBC camera was positioned. We were there just before 10 am and had a good view and we were right at the front just behind the barriers. We unfurled our banner and put it on the barrier. We realised later that it would have been better if it had been much higher but there was nowhere convenient. Next time we will know. We had a great view and it was amazing to see the masses running directly towards us from across the bridge. It was an emotional experience to realise that so many people were doing this run for all sorts of charities and in memory of loved ones like Graeme. There were some amazing sights and costumes that must have been unbearably hot to wear. We were very fortunate to see Rachel as she crossed the bridge. She was running on the side of the road where we stood and she passed within 8 feet of us. The Team's other runners must have crossed the bridge on the opposite side of the road because nobody else spotted us. We took some photos of Rachel but unfortunately none of anyone else that we knew. Rachel had been given a place right near the back of the starters so by this time it was about 11.30. We waited until everyone had crossed the bridge and so after a coffee, Anne and I headed for South Shields.

Of course a rather large number of people were also heading in the same direction so it took quite a while waiting or Metro trains. We got to South Shields Metro by about 1 pm and walked through the town to the finish line. The crowds were too thick to get too close and so we stood with our banner on the grass and about 5 minutes later Sara appeared having just finished and she said she spotted the orange banner so headed towards it. We must have arrived too late for Jonathan, James, David and Roger but then Lynsey arrived and saw the banner so came over to see us. After another short wait Rachel saw us and so our efforts with the banner were definitely worthwhile. The banner will definitely be used again after spending so much time making it. After Rachel arrived we met up with Jonathan, James, Sara and their familes and took the Team Graeme photos under the banner. Anne and I were wary of saying to Rachel that our legs and feet were aching having only walked about two miles but they really were. We could not imagine what the runners must be feeling like. Anyway it was a great achievement for those first time runners to complete the run. I know they all stopped running and walked for a short while but to actually finish was tremendous. I am sure they were all thinking that Graeme would not have been impressed if anyone had not finished. It reminded us of when Graeme did the Lyke Wake Walk in 2004 with Andy and Gilly. He would not let them give up and probably bullied them into continuing. Graeme's competitive spirit may have spurred the runners on to finishing even if they had to crawl over the line.

Thanks to everyone who ran in memory of Graeme. It was a great tribute to him and much appreciated.

See you all next year? Anne and Keith

Lynsey's Story

As this was my fifth Great North Run, I was lucky (or unlucky!) enough to know what was ahead of me on the day itself. As usual, I had not done anywhere near enough training and felt a little bit unprepared for the run itself, but as I had decided to run for Team Graeme there was no backing out!!! After getting up far too early for a Sunday morning, I arrived at the start line. The atmosphere was amazing, and listening to the stories of why others are running, made for quite an emotional journey! The run was a bit of an ordeal, but it was all made worthwhile when I saw the orange Team Graeme banner at the finish line. I felt very proud that I had been able to participate in memory of Graeme and to race and raise money for such a worthwhile charity.

Rachel's Story

Being synonymous with Newcastle, the song "Local Hero" (which we had played at G's funeral) was played over the loudspeakers as I lined up at the start line. Around the same time I found myself surrounded by people with T-shirts for Hartlepool and District Hospice, where Graeme spent a week or so just a few weeks before he died. It felt fitting to have such clear reminders of Graeme, and I needed no other motivation or inspiration to do the run. I went at a slow but steady pace for the first 9 miles, and then slowed down to a walk for a short period, bizarrely finding it more painful to walk than to jog. The mile between 10 and 11 was tough but once I got to the 11 mile marker I realised I was within reach of the finish and found the energy to keep jogging. I felt like I sprinted the last 400 metres (but I'm sure it was just a normal pace!) and it was fantastic to cross the finish line. I am still in disbelief that I managed it! The crowds were unbelievable all the way through: kids holding out their hands to high-five runners, people offering sweets, a guy standing on top of a bus shelter with a hosepipe to cool runners down and, as I had my name on my top, I got a lot of "Go Rachel!" cheers along the way from strangers. Amazing. It was also moving to see the Rents holding the big Team Graeme banner at the end of the Tyne Bridge and at the end of the race. It's not an overstatement to say that I wouldn't have managed my first half-marathon without Graeme. He continues after his death, as he was in life, to be a great source of inspiration and motivation to those of us who love him. I thought about him every step of the way and anytime I felt tired and wanted to stop I kept reminding myself of the determination and dignity he demonstrated through all the pain and suffering his cancer caused him. Knowing he pushed his battered body to the limits to keep on living, I was determined to push my own body in raising money in his memory.