Great North Run: Million – The iconic Tyne Bridge – like the Sydney harbour bridge only smaller!
The Great North Run (GNR) has been, come, & gone for yet another year. Starting with humble beginnings, this year the GNR clocked up a remarkable historic milestone – the first ever running event to reach it’s millionth finisher!
And with the iconic Tyne Bridge defining the starting point of this half-marathon, i thought, what better time to announce expanding my Nutritional Therapy practice to both sides of the river!
…but before i do, i thought i’d share my personal story as one of those million finishers!
Great North Run T-shirt Designs over the Years – can you spot your year?
The year was 1994 and i still have my T-shirt ( pictured above) … I was 17yrs old, and the Great North Run was the first organised race i’d entered outside of school. I knew very little about the race other than people got very excited about it. I’m pretty sure i didn’t even know what a half-marathon was, but i used to run to school everyday so how hard could it be!
I couldn’t believe the sheer amount of people, it seemed to take 10minutes before i’d even crossed the start line! It wasn’t easy to settle into my own pace with all the frenzy and i remember spending the first few miles avoiding tripping over other runners until the course spread out a little.
Fast forward to the finish line and i noticed the official clock….1hr44 -from memory – i had no reference point wether this time was good or bad (still don’t!), so it was a meaningless number really, but i took a mental note of it anyway.
As i looked around at all the smiling, exhausted faces, my sense of pride turned to bemusement as i realised that i was at the seaside…hmmm…did i mention i knew nothing about the run! At no point over the last 13miles had i wondered where i was going to end up! All the runs i’d done before had started and finished at the same place, and here i was some 13 miles from home, with know one to pick me up, and no money for public transport! It was also an era before the ubiquitous mobile phone – hard to imagine i know!!
I would have to come up with a plan quickly…my running vest and shorts were damp with sweat, and i was starting to shiver as my muscles cooled, the North East coastal winds were whipping in…there was only one thing to do…
The first mile home was pleasing enough as my temperature picked back up, but the pleasantness didn’t last too long as my muscles hadn’t taken too kindly to stopping and then staring again. Now running the opposite way, I recall the odd looks by the clean-up team – the good folks you don’t normally see who’s job it is to pick up the countless plastic drinks cups and bottles thrown on the ground, before the roads could be opened again. “Let’s get home before this road opens back up i thought!”
Home was conveniently, or inconveniently – depending on how you looked at it 13.4miles from the South Shields finish line….which meant all told, my first half-marathon attempt, bizarrely resulted in a complete marathon distance!
My parents abiding memory of the aftermath of the run is of me essentially camping in bed for a week ,whilst they ferried food up to me – Thanks mum! :* Personally, my blisters soon healed and all i was left with was a funny story, and a tiny regret that i didn’t technically qualify for 2 t-shirts! ;)
Back to my original announcement….
As i mentioned at the start of the blog-post, I’m very excited to announce expanding my practice. Joining Laura Bicker and her amazing team on Osbourne Road – Jesmond Natural Health & Fertility which will allow me to conveniently reach people on both sides of the river.
Even in the car, i still get a nervous s twitch whenever i cross the Tyne Bridge but it can’t match the excitement i’m feeling for this brand new venture!!
It’s all about the Adventure!!