The Primrose Pit Stop
Dorothy is part of a team of volunteers who run the Primrose Pit Stop along the course of the Great North Run. They hand out drinks, cheers and enthusiasm to help the runners on their way!
It’s 6am I wake before the alarm sounds, I lie still for a moment, I can hear the birdsong but no patter of rain on the windows, I draw back the curtains to see a dull morning but no sign of rain, in fact a perfect day for the Great North Run.
The Gazebo has been erected, the black and white chequered flags are up telling everyone that this is the Primrose Pit stop. We are all wearing our special tee shirts, The sound system is up and running, the plastic guitars have been inflated and the water tank has been filled with ice cold water. The biscuits are ready, the oranges have been peeled and quartered, the bananas have been chopped, the cups are ready and the ice pops have been frozen. The tables are set and now we nervously wait hoping we have enough to go round.
Soon the wheelchair racers appear, kneeling and leaning forward, completely focused, I am amazed that they can remain in that position for so long, Now the elite runners pass us again totally focused eyes straight ahead, these people are professionals no need to stop for sustenance.
The speakers belt out “Keep on Running” as a couple of the team mime with their inflated guitars, now the main body of runners are passing, all running for charity, “In memory of mum” “In memory of granddad”.
We see Cartoon characters, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, here comes Jarrow Jimmy (now in his nineties), The Stig from Top Gear, Freddie the fridge, they’re all there. The music playing is “Chariots of Fire” we shout encouragement and it’s all hands on deck as thirsty, tired runners reach out for refreshment, they have been running for about 8 miles now. Some stop and applaud our Tina Turner lookalike, some want to have their photo taken but most just want to quickly grab what’s on offer as they try to beat their last years time.
We stay till the last runner passes us the music playing is Lindisfarne’s “Run for Home” we cheer louder than ever to help them along.
Now for us it’s over for another year we’ve been here for around 7 hours. Tired but happy we relax and have a cup of tea before the big clean up begins and, Elaine, who is at the heart of the Primrose Pit-stop is already thinking ahead to the next Great North Run.
Great North Greats
Celebrating the millionth runner to cross the finish line of the Great North Run with stories of determination, energy and world firsts.]