Today I was lucky enough to run the Great North Run. I managed to get a place through the ballot and since getting that confirmation email I had been looking forward to “the biggest half in the world”. Although it was an event i’d been looking forward to for so long I hadn’t set myself a goal time. As a lot of you are aware I’ve been racing a lot recently and this has been positive in getting me into the best shape of my life. On the other hand, due to races being so close to each other, my performances aren’t always as good as they could be.
There are a couple of ways I can assess my run from Newcastle to South Shields. One way is to look at the stats and numbers. Looking at the numbers I’m a little disappointed as it shows I ran a time of 1:20:06. This is just over 3 minutes slower than my personal best that I did in Reading earlier this year. However taking into account my first sub 3 marathon two weeks ago and a pretty big weekend of running near Eastbourne, along the South Downs Way and over the Seven Sisters twice last weekend I only have myself to blame for having heavy legs.
This brings me to the other way I’m going to assess todays run, by how I felt.
The first few miles felt incredibly hard work as I was trying to keep a sub 6 minute mile pace and was feeling the effects of the last few weeks/months. After mile 5 I settled and started to really enjoy the run. The crowds were great and once I realised the chance of a PB was out the window I decided to enjoy it and not worry about the time so much. I high fived a few kids and thanked people that were cheering and willing me on. As I neared the finish the crowd gave me energy. The last mile was probably one of the best miles I’ve ran this year. The road was lined with thousands of people cheering you to the line. You almost want to up your pace too much. The 800m mark came along and the crowds were getting bigger and bigger. I passed the 400m to go point and started geeing up the crowd. They responded and gave me the biggest cheers I’ve ever experienced in a race. I’m getting goosebumps writing this now.
I crossed the line knowing I wasn’t anywhere near a PB but that really didn’t matter. I had just been supported by hundreds of strangers wanting me to complete the run and that was pretty cool. Overall I didn’t get 100% what I wanted from the run but I’ll remember that finish for a long time and I’ll be back doing the Great North Run soon I’m sure.
Massive well done to everyone that raced this weekend! I hope you all had fun. Thanks to everyone that has written good luck or well done messages, really appreciate it!