Posted: 08/09/2014 at 20:52
Great North Run - 7/9/14 - Race Report
I got to the line started my watch and off I went, people were sprinting, running in and out and decided to ensure I kept my pace right. I let everyone go, I was jogging and my pace felt good. Looking at my watch I was a little fast but at 6.45 compared to 7.00 I could cope with that and then as things started to ease off under the bridges my pace slowed a little more.
I was looking at the crowd, soaking up the atmosphere, i was in awe, I felt on top of the world and dare I say a little emotional that I made the start line. The crowd were awesome.
Oggy Oggy Oggy were the shouts, I didnt join in, I was saving everything I had knowing I had to run 5km more than my training. I turned off my music and listened, it was brilliant.
My pace slowed and people were still passing me right left and centre, as we approached the Tyne Bridge. Over go the Red Arrows and at that point I knew that finish line will be reached. Cheered on by the crowds I resisted the urge to speed up, in fact I slowed to allow my overall pace to reach 7.00. I kept looking around, hi fives everywhere and was joining in. The kids were loving it, and I gave a few myself. I was loving every minute of it.
My breathing was great, i was cool, my head was right and then at 5km the dreaded stitch kicked in. I was controlling my breathing, and it go worse, but I hung in and gradually after a few km it passed and then I was clear.
I kept my overall pace right, a few seconds up and a few seconds down. The first water station approached. I felt and didnt need it, but I took that water, I had a long way to go and gradually sipped it making sure I drank the lot. From here on in I had a bottle in my hand all race.
The road levelled out and the km's ticked off, I looked at my watch and remember seeing 46 mins, i could not believe it, the time passed so quick. I was still loving the run.
I focused on shade and running where the trees lined to the streets to avoid the sun as much as possible, it was helping my keep cool.
As I got to 11km, and I had seen the half way mark I decided to speed up. The problem this speeding up only served to keep me at my current pace. The heat was getting to me, but I knew I didnt need to worry as long as my average pace was at 7.00 I would be under 2hrs 30mins.
I took a drink at every station and the lucozade sport to ensure I stayed hydrated.
My first gel I was not really ready for, but at 12km I decided to take it, as it would take time to work.
As I approached the hill I took my second gel probably about 5 mins before it. I had watched a youtube video of the route in 3 mins, so I knew what land marks I was looking for.
The hill, i was dreading it and at the foot of it i started to feel tired, I had reached my training distance and at this point I was speed up. I couldnt, i was tired now, but I put more into it and this ensured I didnt lose time, I kept in control.
Half way up the hill and my body shaped was going, I was pushing, i was passing people all the time and stayed in the middle of the road.
Nearly there and I was puffed out, knowing that I was making this I reached the crest of the hill and a little fair on the left hand side.
Breathing was hard my legs were aching but then I saw the sea. OMG I knew I had made it. I then saw the steepest of down hill I have ever run on, it took me by surprise, I knew i had a good distance to go yet. I leaned back and let everyone pass me as I slowly went down the hill to ensure I kept my footing.
At the bottom and left on to the coast road. I burst into tears, i could not believe what i had done, it felt on top of the world.
A mile to go and off I went as fast as I could, this was it, do or die, put everything I had left in to it. There was not alot left. I was sprinting, well I wasnt but it felt like it and the crowd was immense. They must have been 30 deep at some points all clapping and cheering.
Fighting back the tears of joy, I sprinted to then I saw the 800m mark, WOW, I am there.
That was the longest 800m of my life. It just didnt end, I was praying for the finish, my legs were like jelly, and then 400m, 200m and I saw the finish line.
I kept it going to the line, and saw a cameraman taking shots as we finished. My arms went in to the air and a I made a big screen of "YES" as i crossed the line whlist looking at my watch.
2hours 28 mins and 8 seconds on the watch. (official time 6 seconds).
I had done it. I did something I never thought i would have accomplished and I literally could move no more. My legs were dead, there was nothing in me. I knew at that point I had put everything into it I had.
I wont bore you more with the post race story, I have gone on enough, but hopefully i can look back on these two posts in the years to come and maybe just maybe use them as inspiration to my own children when perhaps they are struggling in life and need a boost and this will show them what can be done.
Thank you for reading and I hope I didnt bore you all too much.