Monday, 24 September 2012

The Great North Run

The great north run, 13.1 miles, a run on a road linking newcastle to south shields. This has always been an event I've been interested in doing. I've helped officiate the run in 2002, and the year after I was signed up to do the run with my friends, only to pull out as I went in holiday instead.


Fast forward the clock 8 years and I still hadn't complete the run. In 2007 I had made a list of things I wanted to do and wanted to achieve by the time I turned 30. I'm not sure where this list is nowadays but I remember a few things on the list and doing the great north run was one.

The OH decided that this year she wanted to tackle the 13.1 mile route. She'd never done anything like this before and wanted to run the course to raise money for mind, a charity close to her heart. I decided I'd run it with her for morale support and also to get this off my list. I decided to run for prostate cancer UK.

After months if thinking I need to start training before I knew it the dag was here. OH had done a lot more training than I had but I strangely didn't feel too worried, I knew I'd be able to do the course. The day arrived and we were on the start line, I have to say that on the start line was the point where I lost my patience and got most annoyed. I mean it took an hour to get to the actual start line once the race had begun, by which point the race had already been won in south shields( not that I had any ambition of winning) put into the mix the fact it was raining and a cold wind blew and we were standing waiting to run made it seem more miserable, although I knew full well that once I started running I'd be grateful for the wind and a slight rain.

Once we were under way the mood changed dramatically into a one of awe, there was this bad weather yet thousands of people lined the streets cheering your name and encouraging you on and clapping you. It was incredible. Myself and my OH ran together the whole distance. We'd been for a few runs together before and so paced ourselves accordingly, and we found we could just keep running and running, we set little targets first to run to 3miles, then 5miles,then6,7 until before we knew it we were at mile 8 and hadn't stopped at all. We had to stop at this point for a toilet break, which lead to a real difficult restart, which took more affect on me at 10miles as I felt my knee start to ache.

Again banks and lines of people kept cheering you on and there was no question of not finishing. We kept running until you could see the sea, and with it thousands of more people shouting, clapping, cheering telling you you've got 1 more mile. At this point you run on pure adrenaline, you don't notice and aches, you see the finish line and know you'll be crossing it in a matter of minutes.

The great north run was an amazing experience and one I will always fondly look back on in my life. My time of 2:27 was good, but I know I can do better so now it's been complete the next step is to run it again and better myself. The next day at work a colleague told me he was planning on running it next year to raise money for his son who was ill, even though I was suffering from a bad knee I immediately said I'd run it with him. I'm looking forward to trying to beat my time.

As I crossed the finish line on Sunday, I reverted back to my mental list of things to do before I turn 30, on that list, underneath complete the great north run was to complete a full marathon. As I crossed the finish line it dawned on me, that crossing that point on south shields would only be halfway in a full marathon, I'm sure my body would be up to the challenge.

If you like to sponsor me for. Implying this years run you can do here, all money will be going to Prostate Cancer UK, who you can read about here...

If you'd like to sponsor my OH for completing the great north run please go here, she was running on behalf of Mind, you can read about them here.

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