Monday, October 02, 2006

Great North Run

Huge crowds in South Shields

The annual half marathon from Newcastle to South Shields took place yesterday in perfect weather and attracted huge crowds to South Shields, as this picture of the finishing area shows. Traffic, although dense and slow moving, was well organised even though the snake of competitors ran from the Bents Park to Newcastle Road.

There was only one fatality in this year's event - a 29 year old man, organisers have not released any details, but I witnessed the tragedy personally yesterday. We must accept that in any crowd of about 50,000 people of mixed circumstances, even if they are not exerting themselves, there is a small mathematical risk that one of them could die in an instant. Unfortunately when this happens at a large public event such as the Great North Run, questions are asked and the circumstances are looked at much more closely. This young man received immediate assistance from other competitors and bystanders and was attended by paramedics within two minutes of his collapse. I really don't think you could wish for more or better responses from the race organisers.

I have made a video of this year's Great North Run and hope to have it online by tomorrow, so do check back to see it. Whilst I was shooting, I was approached by Julian Germain, an artist, who is staging an exhibition (The Running Line) in Saltwell Park, Gateshead, next year. he will be showing a 13.1 mile exhibition of around 1,700 photos taken at this year's run. If you have any digital photos that were taken yesterday you could have them added to his exhibition by sending them in via this website.

Go on - make an exhibition of yourself!

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