View from the Great North Run

September 14, 2023

Bakery software expert Andrew Throup after Great North Run

Last Sunday, September 10, Cybake Product Specialist Andrew Throup, one of the world’s leading authorities on bakery management software, ran in his seventh Great North Run.

The annual event is the largest half marathon in the world and participants run between Newcastle upon Tyne and South Shields in the North-East of England. Andrew was running in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society (you can still donate here) and, to mark his achievement, here is the story of his day.

The day started at 5am. Up, breakfast and to Easingwold for 6am, sharing a lift with Mike, a fellow club runner for Easingwold Running Club.

An easy drive up saw us at the finish car park for 7:45am, then onto the Metro bus to get to the start line. It’s always a great atmosphere with a buzz of excitement, something you must experience at least once. We saw a few other members of Easingwold Running Club and said hello.

I met with Pete, which we had pre-planned as we were aiming for similar times. We moved to the start pens for 10:40am and got a warmup from Mr Motivator at 10:50am. 11am and we’re off in the masses – 60,000 of us. Being near the front, it only took about three minutes to cross the starting line. Mike said that it took him nearly an hour.

It was also Sir Mo Farah’s last competitive run. He was awesome and finished fourth overall, a real inspiration to us all.

So, the run. I had a pace plan until the hot weather showed up in the week before the race. Stood there baking in the sun, I decided to head out at a pace that I felt I could run initially and judge it from there. You do get lulled into a false sense of security with the downhill start and everyone else off like a train around you.

5k passed, hot, sweating far too much. Water stations appreciated. 10k arrived, second 5k split down a minute or so, feeling tired.

Moving into miles now, 8 miles is a point I consider the breaking zone (it’s my 7th Great North half, so I know the course well). Yep, I was already broken from the heat, so after crossing the timing mat, I decided I needed to put the brakes on if I was to continue running to the finish.


I could have stopped so many times but found the willpower to carry on, thinking of the great cause and all you lovely people that sponsored me. So, it was “finish the race,” not “race the race” now. It was so hot.

Showers at the roadside were appreciated as I climbed the incline from mile 8. Only five more miles to go. The crowds were so generous, ice lollies, beers, sweets, high fives. Just great!

Mile 10, and I am suffering, thinking: “Why? Why do you do this?”

At this point, I was also thinking: “Only a park run to go, and you can dismiss the last mile due to the crowds cheering you on down to the finish.” Compartmentalising the race always helps me break down the miles.

After climbing mile 11 and 12 and descending down to the 90-degree left onto the finish mile, it was nearly over. With 800m to go, thinking: “800 meters – 4 minutes or less to go – then it’s over, job done, loads of money raised for such a deserving charity…”

Finished! 1:34:01 Yes! And so glad. I met back up with Pete (as we separated around mile 8, I could see he was still looking strong). A beer later, I felt relieved it was all over. Note: a second beer may have been had.

I met Mike later at the charity village, had some snacks at the Alzheimer’s Society’s tent and headed back to the car as the rain started to fall. We made it just in time before the heavens opened.

Little did we know driving away from the Great North Run that flash floods had occurred, closing our only way out. Many thousands of runners were worse off than us two sat in a warm car, though. They were queueing for hours and hours in the queue for the Metro, which was also stopped due to the floods – massive transport delays.

So, at 3:40pm, we were in the car. We got home at 10pm. All that sitting, we could have flown to Tenerife. A true nightmare. But we went, we ran, and my friends and colleagues did me proud with their generous sponsorship: £602 (and counting) raised for the Alzheimer’s Society so far.

Andrew’s Great North Run Just Giving page.

Categories: Blog
Tags: Alzheimer's Society Andrew Throup Great North Run
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Seamus Quinn is the head of communications for Cybake, Cybake USA and Cybake Australia.

Company profile

We started creating ERP-class software solutions for the baking industry in 1998.

Since then, we’ve gained a reputation for friendly and reliable customer support, a deep understanding of retail and wholesale bakery, and for our expertise in cutting-edge systems and technology.

Now, bakers of all types and sizes rely on Cybake® bakery software to control their businesses, cut admin, improve efficiency and increase sales.