Team British Tennis smashed the Great North Run at the weekend, even managing to be featured on BBC One as part of their coverage of the famous half marathon.
The team, consisting of Steve Trewick (North East Visually Impaired tennis player), Matt Elkington (Disability Development Manager, Tennis Foundation and Steve’s guide runner), Stuart Searle (Commercial Business Partner, LTA), Richard Gwyn (British Tennis Member) and Kirsty Thomson (Disability Competitions Manager, Tennis Foundation) took on the 13.1 mile run last Sunday to raise money for activities supported by the Tennis Foundation, Great Britain’s leading tennis charity.
The team arrived at the start bright and early with tennis rackets in hand ready to record an interview with BBC presenter Radzi Chinyanganya, which was aired during the coverage of the race just after Sir Mo Farah crossed the finish line. (Click here to watch – skip to 2.41).
Watch it from 9:30am on @BBCOne!
— Tennis Foundation (@TennisFndation) September 9, 2018
First to cross the start line were Steve and his guide runner Matt, who got to set off 25 minutes ahead of the main field alongside other blind and visually impaired runners – meaning they had the road to themselves for the first few miles with incredible support from the crowd.
Matt Elkington, Steve’s guide runner, said: “It was an unbelievable experience being a guide runner for the first time, especially in the world’s most famous half marathon. Greatest element was Steve and I running over the Tyne Bridge with thousands of people cheering him on alone as we started 20 odd minutes ahead of the rest of the runners. Gave me goose bumps! Only very few people got that much individual attention, including him and Sir Mo!”
Steve also found the support astonishing saying: “It was an absolutely amazing event! Even with all the training behind me I wasn’t sure that I would make it around the course but with the support of the amazing #TeamBritishTennis squad, particularly my intrepid guide runner Matt Elkington and the absolutely incredible support of the North East crowd who lined the route, I made it all the way round in 2 hours and 19 minutes. Once my legs are a bit less sore I’ll be back out training three times a week for the next time!”
Great job Steve!
— BBC Get Inspired (@bbcgetinspired) September 9, 2018
The rest of Team British Tennis followed on behind the men’s elite field, led by Sir Mo Farah. With the Team British Tennis support crew being deployed to cheer on the team runners at 4 miles, before moving on to see them finish in front of packed crowds on the North East coast as the Red Arrows flew overhead.
Richard Gwyn, representing British Tennis Members as part of the team, said “I really enjoyed taking part in my first Great North Run with Team British Tennis. It was exciting that we made it onto the BBC coverage and I managed to time my run to perfection with the Red Arrows going overhead as I approached the finish line. Thanks to the Tennis Foundation for a great experience.”
Huge congratulations to all of our runners who not only did brilliantly on the day but also raised over £1,200 to go towards activities supported by the Tennis Foundation to makes tennis a sport which is inclusive and accessible to anyone and everyone.
Times and positions
Finish Time 02:03:38
Position 11,230th (2,419th woman)
Finish Time 02:06:13
Finish Time 02:14:23
Finish Time 02:19:18
Finish Time 02:19:18