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Sophie comes in under two hours in Great North Run

Upper Sixth pupil Sophie Auster’s time of 1 hour 50 minutes in the Great North Run has so inspired her that she is determined to better her performance next year. Sophie was one of 200 people running for the Prostate Cancer Charity and hopes to raise £250 in total.

"It was a fantastic experience," says Sophie. "Beforehand, I was so certain that it would be a one-off because I didn’t think I could put in the training again and I am probably at the peak of my fitness now.

"However, after I’d completed the race, I was desperate to have the experience again mainly because I really want to improve my time."

Sophie did find the sheer enormity of the crowd a problem and lost a lot of time dodging people and not being able to find a good pace.

"On the positive side, though," she says, "I was pleased to have been among the main thrust of the crowd because I was right in the centre of the buzzing excitement of the race. It was such a great feeling to be part of a huge fund-raising venture where everyone was running for their own personal cause.

"The true quality of the experience was enhanced by the fact that I was running with my sister. We began together, running within a metre of Kelly Holmes at the start line, and then separated. We were united at the end at our charity tent where we joined our fellow runners to share our experiences and munch on the free chocolate! Thankfully, the weather was perfect for running and the whole day was great apart from the fact that it inevitably involved a lot of queueing!"