Come one, come all; everyone welcome on this year long build up to the GNR
Sunday, September 16th, 2001 Helicopters hovering in the distance. Realisation that it’s Great North Run day. Conversation with a good friend. Over the next few months, thoughts become ideas become plans…
Fast forward exactly 11 years
Sunday, September 16th, 2012 Here I am, watching the finish of the elite men’s race. It’s been such a pleasure and a privilege to make so many great friends through this event, many of you are running now, even as I type. Had anyone told me in 2001 that I would have 9 half marathons to my name, including 5 GNRs by now, I would have laughed, but that is exactly what has happened.
Although 2006 was the last time I crossed the line at South Shields, the GNR is still special to me. I don’t know how many times I’ve posted my race plan, but it’s always hugely gratifying when people say it has helped or ask for it to be posted. So here, by request, my GNR race plan to start the 2013 thread. And, can I offer sincere and humble thanks to all those who have said I should start the thread this year.
XL's 4-part run plan
Run one - 5 miles. (DON'T think about anything further) Huge crowds, great atmosphere, bands. Take it steady, not too fast, you've run five miles or further loads of times. Enjoy the spectacle, and remember you are part of it. Those inspirational pictures of thousands running across the Tyne Bridge; Red Arrows trailing the red, white and blue vapours; you're in them this year. Yes, you're in the Great North Run, the world's biggest half marathon. Enjoy!Run two - 3 miles. Forget the 5 behind you, they're done. Think only of the next three. Three miles? Piece of cake, you've done 9, 10, 11 .. much more in training. These three are all downhill, wheeeeeee !! Great news for those of you after PBs for the event, or even if it's your first time and you have a target. Go for it here, within reason. Unfortunately, the road narrows, so you may notice it feeling a little more congested. Be careful.Run three - 3 miles. SLOW DOWN. This is where you need your mental toughness. Console yourself with the fact that even the élites slow down here. It's a bit of a slog up the John Reid Road etc and there's not much to enjoy, but hey, if it was easy, the medal wouldn't be as important to you would it? If you're a run/walk person this is where you may want to be taking extra walks, and psych yourself up, but don't start thinking about the finish yet. Just get to 11 miles.Run four - 2.1 miles. That's nowt ! Of course you're tired but you're nearly there. Now, start to tell yourself that you've done it (almost) the goody bag is waiting for you, go and get it. Gan canny down that bank! The last mile and a bit up the sea front is fantastic, and yes, it’s more than a mile. Huge crowds yelling at you, the end is nigh. Let your spirits fly, even if you're knackered. You can stop soon. If you're after a time, push, you know you are fit, you have prepared well, and as tired as you will feel when you cross the line, the elation will speed your recovery. Well done, you've finished the GREAT NORTH RUN 2013. Get your medal and wear it with pride.
Gosh, its very quiet on here. i wonder why?
I can't imagine! The bonus of me having to withdraw on race morning is that I actually get to post on page 1 of the new thread. Silver linings and all that!
The elite races were good, shame they don't show more of them.
Yeah, made it onto the first page for the first time ever
XL's plan is always a great start to the new thread.
CC2, gutted that you had to withdraw but as you've said, you have bigger targets to reach.
I'm looking forward to hearing all the stories later. Have a drink fo rme this evening.
XL said I should post on the first page of the new thread (and who am I to disobey the GNR Guru?) Maybe this will inspire me to run another half marathon sometime in the next year?
Hi Wee Col. Hopefully be up for Blaydon again next year (cheering if not actually running), although if I'm quick enough to get an entry in anything could happen! . Would love to make the GNR too, but it all gets a bit expensive me being so far south.
Hi pengwyn, have a lovely time this evening.
Thank you - I am sure I will. We will miss you, though!
I'm putting myself in the ballot for 2013 as soon as it opens- I loved watching it on tv this morning!
It looks like such a good atmosphere!
Have I made it to the front page?? Hurrah if I have. Best GNR ever for me ... but I'll report it on the old thread if you don't mind ...
I'm posting this on here too, just in case people just come straight here: (oh, and apologies )
Well, that was the best GNR ever for me - and I was really quite apprehensive beforehand, as I hadn't really done any 'proper' speedwork at all this year, other than The Blaydon Race, and some 'dig deep!' training at Thunder Run in the summer.
Met up in our usual spot under the footbridge with Shrek, Mandie, Steve, Stringy, mr sj and Andy Smithsky (who was loitering shyly until I brought/dragged him into the fold). Then we were later joined by James, Dasher Dart and RLTW (who I felt a bit sorry for ... she'd turned up as Abide With Me finished and had me crying on her shoulder ... sorry RLTW )
We went our separate ways at about 10-ish? and I disappeared into the bushes with my bucket ...
Then it's the usual waiting around, the half-hearted aerobics session with that fitness trainer guy that no-one really takes seriously and the fly-over from the Red Arrows which is just amazing!! It's worth entering just for that moment alone.
Race started - I crossed the line, started my watch, said a little prayer to my mam and dad, and put my 'game face' on, which looks like this: Unfortunately I realised I needed the toilet (what is it with my bladder??!) but thought I'd hang on until Gateshead Stadium. Watched enviously as all the blokes hit the flyover and legged it for the walls to pee - lucky buggers! Passed people with pen D numbers who were walking at this point - about half a mile in .
By the time I got to the Stadium though I decided against paying a visit as I was going really well (too fast for me, but I felt pretty relaxed) and didn't want to muck up my pacing. At mile 4, I passed a couple walking in the middle of the road - complete with those walking stick thingies. I turned as I passed them and noticed they hand pink numbers. Now - what gives there? They started (or should have) behind me, were clearly walking (no disrespect to them, but they didn't look like natural born runners) and I was averaging 7:55 m/miles at this point, yet at mile 4 they were ahead of lots of fast runners? Hmmmm ....
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