This year’s great north run was my first half marathon and my first run for Dragonfly Cancer Trust.
Along with being one of the most painful experiences of my life, it was also one of the most rewarding. Personally this run meant a lot to me, because as a child I struggled with mobility and had to regain the ability to run, therefore completing this had always been a dream of mine.
Onto the day of the run. The day started for me at around 7:00am when I woke, had my breakfast and got on my dragonfly top, got a quick photo and left for the run.. Upon arriving in Newcastle, the atmosphere was electric, the sun was shining and everyone was glowing. We were all ready for the task in hand.
Like most of the runners, nature was calling, hence the one and a half hour wait for the world’s largest collection of portaloos. Whilst being a rather painful experience, it was also a great for meeting fellow runners and finding out other peoples stories. This took me until around 10:00am and gave me 40 minutes until start time. Eventually as the workout came to a close and final preparations were completed, it was 10:40 and we set off.
My first impressions were how alarmingly fast I started. My first mile came in at 6’32” and stayed around there for the first parts of the run. The atmosphere from the crowd was incredible and a real motivator to keep going at this pace. At points (in particular mile 8) it was difficult to keep going, however, the thought of the cause I was running for kept me motivated and proved to be a great inspiration.
The last push of my run finished on a 7’23” mile and it was a great feeling to return to my home of South Shields. Finishing the run in the time I did was a great surprise to me as I was aiming for around 01:45 time therefore finishing in 01:36.06 was an amazing achievement.
The true challenge of the race, however, was finding the charity tent!
The labyrinth of charity tents proves to be quite difficult to navigate and it felt like running the race again trying to find it. After what felt like around 3 years, I discovered the tent where Jane and Sarah, as well as my family were waiting for me. I felt a surge of pride upon entering as it occurred to me how hard I worked towards this moment and how the money I had raised would help towards this fantastic cause.
From this day onwards I decided to continue volunteering for Dragonfly Cancer Trust and hence writing this blog ! For all those interested in running next year I hope this provides some insight into what the Great North Run will be like.