PE teacher is perfect role model for pupils

Ribblesdale High School PE teacher Joanne Sharp
Ribblesdale High School PE teacher Joanne Sharp
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Ribblesdale High School PE teacher Joanne Sharp did her pupils proud when finishing first in her age category in the Great North Run.

She has worked at the school for 18 years, was the best performer out of nearly 3,000 female entrants aged between 45-49.

The Blackburn Road Runner completed the 13.1 mile course in one hour, 27 minutes and 14 seconds, smashing her own personal best by more than a minute.

Over 43,000 runners attempted the event which stretches from Newcastle to South Shields with Sir Mo Farah sealing a record-breaking fifth victory by winning the elite men’s race in 59 minutes and 26 seconds.

“I only decided to enter the ballot for this race at the last minute, not really expecting to get a place, so was rather surprised when I found out I was in,” she said.

“I had no real race plan – I just thought I would enjoy it and see what I could do. I set off far too quickly, getting a bit carried away with the atmosphere, and reached the 5k mark in just under 20 minutes.

“I felt quite good at this point so thought I would push on and see what happened. I had to laugh when I reached the 10k mark in 40.06, missing that elusive sub 40 yet again.

“I continued to feel okay up to about mile 11, where there is a long uphill drag just before a short downhill section on to the seafront.

“Not even Elvis singing to me from the crowd could help at this point! As I ran along the seafront into a bit of a headwind, the crowd were amazing, and despite running my slowest two miles of the whole race, I managed to hang on and knock just over a minute off my PB, so I was really chuffed.

“The organisation and the atmosphere at this race is amazing and I would certainly recommend it.”