Tuesday, 7 October 2008

The GREAT North Run

So about three weeks before the event the training schedule was well and truly out of the window - I fell over and pranged my knee.

The Friday night before the race the healthy eating plan was a distant memory - I was four glasses of wine down in the pub.

The day of the race the music stopped - I realised my ipod was out of juice on the start line.

My preparations for 13.1m had basically turned into a comedy of errors, only with half a marathon of pain stretching out in front of me I was struggling to see the funny side.

Luckily, I discovered that to complete the Great North Run athletic prowess is unnecessary - think of it as a luxury - all you need is bloody-mindedness and a fantastic crowd of mental Geordies to line the route.

In the end I got round in a just about respectable 2 hours 28 minutes.

I say "I" but if I'm honest it was a team effort, and I share my medal with the Newcastle nutters who spend their Sunday cheering on Sweaty Bettys like me, particularly the good people of Jarrow whose welcome banner ("Jarrow welcomes the magnificent 50,000+") made me feel warm and fuzzy.

Thanks to those lovely people there wasn't a moment during the whole 13.1m when I wasn't munching biscuits, drinking juice, eating orange segments or being drenched with someone's garden hosepipe (in a good way).

My only complaints? A toenail that didn't make it to the finish line with the rest of me (too much information? Sorry), a wonky knee for the final mile and a message to the five people I saw running while chatting on their mobiles: If you've got enough puff to chinwag your way round you should be RUNNING FASTER.


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