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The Great North Run

Tuesday, 18 September, 2012 - 17:08

I found myself somewhere on Sunday that only six months ago I would never have predicted: the starting line of a half marathon.

Until May this year I laughed at the idea of being fit enough to take part in any kind of sporting event, let alone running 13.1 miles. I had started running casually in April as the weather improved, with the usual thoughts of getting fitter for summer. Then in May, filled with the confidence of being able to run three miles, I agreed to sign up for the Great North Run.

I convinced my sister to join me, which brought out my competitive side, but having only been a fair weather runner in the past it was a steep training curve to get myself to a state where I felt I could finish within a reasonable time. And during the wettest part of the summer it was a struggle to drag myself out for an hour’s running in the rain.

However, I soon started to see an improvement in how far I could go without wanting to sit down and not move any further. This encouraged me to go out again the next time.

But as the event date loomed, I  started worrying about whether I would make it round, no longer caring about the time in which I'd complete it.

I needn’t have worried: the people of Newcastle are fantastic at giving encouragement. They fed us orange segments, sweets, ice lollies and fudges all the way round and even put on some music to keep us entertained. I learnt that running is much easier with distractions and support. 

2721 Me and my sister in the Breat Cancer Care tentOnce I had stumbled over the finish line and collected my medal, the lovely Breast Cancer Care Events team was there with congratulatory soup, chocolate, a goody bag and, most important of all, a chair.

The atmosphere throughout the day was brilliant with so many people taking part and supporting the runners: there's nothing like the encouragement of strangers shouting your name to keep you going.

It was an amazing day and definitely worth the training. Not only did I make it round but I did so in a respectable 2 hours 11 minutes and 51 seconds. I would recommend it to anyone tempted.

Would I do it again? Ask me once I’ve regained the ability to walk down stairs.

If you find the idea of a half marathon too daunting but would still like to take part, there are plenty of other distances you could try. Take a look at the shorter runs. Or, if you fancy more of a challenge, why not double my efforts and do marathon?

Massive congratulations to all 410 Breast Cancer Care runners!

If you would like to sign up for a reminder to enter the 2013 ballot, visit the Great North Run Website or you can email sporting@breastcancercare.org.uk to apply for you charity place now.






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