Today was the 33rd year of the Great North Run. I sat at home as many others did wishing I were amongst the thousands of runners hopping from one foot to the other anticipating the start of the 13.1 miles. This morning brought back so many amazing memories of the 5 Great North Runs I have completed.
I ran my first in 2003 with my best friend, I was bitten by the bug and it stayed with me for years. The training began slow and steady and increased over the months. The hotel was booked, the journey planned and all that remained was to prepare ourselves for this truly amazing event.
The journey to the starting area was always a big part of the day, strangers would smile and talk to us, I suppose the love of running brought us together. This camaraderie continued long after we crossed the finish line.
We put our kit bags on the allocated bus and joined the crowds in the starting area, every colour of the rainbow filled the dual carriageway in Newcastle, UK. Fancy dress costumes, fire fighters and men in full army uniform stood amongst us. The fire men and soldiers received much more attention than the man dressed as SpiderMan!!
The organised bands and singers along with the crowds of people cheering and high five-ing us were truly incredible. The pitta patter of foot steps as we ran through the underpass and the booming voices shouting “Oggy, oggy oggy….oi, oi, oi was enough to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
The Red Arrows entertained the crowds with their spectacular flying display releasing their red, white and blue smoke as they flew over The Tyne Bridge. The hairs were now standing up in a way they felt as if they had been starched!!
The hills came and went, the miles ticked down and the finish line was in sight. Any pain we had felt along the way suddenly disappeared and our smiles felt as big as the event we were about to complete. Our pace increased slightly, how we don’t know and we held hands as we crossed the finish line. We did it, we finished our first Great North Run.
I knew right there and then that I would be back. Who knows maybe next year I might go back for another go.
If you are unsure about your ability to take part in any exercise consult your GP prior to commencing.