I don't know what it is about this race but I just love it! What makes it so addictive are the people of Newcastle, they are just amazing, the support you get the whole way round is incredible. The course itself is actually rather brutal with all the hills and if you put it anywhere else in the country you would do it once and say ‘no that’s not again!’. Another endearing feature of every Great North Run are all the amazing runners of all abilities that take part. It is actually more a fun run than a half marathon and I just can't get enough of it!
This years GNR seemed even busier than last years with the route jam packed with runners the whole way. The pens were absolutely buzzing ahead of the race this year more so than last year for some reason. With so many runners out there there was never ANY chance of running anything fast and if you sign up for the Great North Run thinking you will be PB hunting forget it! This run is all about the people, the place and the atmosphere!
2018 will always be my favourite Great North Run I think because it was the first time the Fordy Runs Running Community really got together. We had over forty of us attending this race which was just awesome! Meeting some of the guys from our group for dinner the night before and then on race morning was just so amazing I will never forget it. I am so truly humbled by some of the kind words that some of the group said to me about the community I started I just love each and every single one of them and seeing Fordy Runs tops on the BBC Great North Run TV coverage just blows my mind! We are already planning our next big event!
Another highlight this year for me was spending time with my main man Michael Briggs who has a YouTube Channel, A Runners Ramble . Michael also hosts podcasts amongst other things and this year he was filming his very own 'My GNR'. If you haven't checked out Michael's content I would strongly advise it because he is really trying to do things differently which I love. He was so lucky this year because another absolute legend Colin the man in the Big Pink Dress fixed him up VIP start passes! If you have never come across Colin (you must have been living in a cave) please go check him out, he is an inspiration to us all and I just love him!
This years run for me was a nightmare as I crashed and burned at 14k when my hamstring told me to stop trying to be a hero and walk! I pulled my hamstring about three weeks ago on a training run as I attempted to make up for lost holiday training time by bashing out some long training runs. Looking back I should have just ticked over with some 10-15k runs instead of smashing out two 21k's back to back. That is the problem for me with the Great North Run, it always falls at a tricky time in my schedule as I come out of a summer of speed and then go on holiday where I lay around the pool recovering from all the speed sessions and then ask my legs to knock out a few quick half marathons! Next year I am going to learn from it big time and try and do things differently.
For this run I also badly prep'd with not enough fuel in the tank for race day and the lack of fluids post race had a terrible effect once I got off the bus in Haymarket (check out the Proper Jogger's video! ). I felt worse after this run than I did after running the 2018 London Marathon when it was about 3000 degrees which tells me I didn't prepare and execute the right fuel strategy on race day. BUT you learn from these mistakes and it will make me a better runner in the long term.
I am now nursing my hamstring and have already pulled out of the Great East Run. I was meant to be running 5 events in 6 weeks but that is defiantly off the cards. I will now focus on getting back in shape for the Oxford Half which is flat and I plan on jogging around that one. The following weekend I then have the Royal Parks Half Marathon which I am really look forward too.
Injuries suck but we all get them and it is all about coming back stronger which I plan to do. I am already thinking about next years Great North Run and I just can't wait to get on the train at Stevenage and make the three and a bit hour trek upto Newcastle for another awesome weekend!
See you all soon!