We've just got back from Tyneside as we always book the Monday off from work so we can stay on at the B&B in Tynemouth and enjoy the big cooked breakfast that we always forgo on Sunday morning.....somehow we just can't face it at 7:30am on race day!
We had a great day. We seemed to get to the start without too much problem (it's about a two mile walk from the Metro station) but had the usual long wait for the last minute loo break.......probably queued for 40 mins! I started with Louise even though I was given a Zone D number and Louise was one down in Zone E. It was quite cool but dry at the start. We both did personal best times last year, Louise was 2:03:47 and I was 1:54:33. Louise had not been able to put in the training as much as she had wanted so was anxious she wouldn't do as well. I on the other hand have had a good year as I decided to lose weight in January and so far I have lost about 15 kg (2.5 stone). As part of the new weight reigime I had upped my training by starting earlier in the year so I was hoping to get below 1:50 this year.
Once we set off I left Louise to run her pace and I started to get past the thousands in front of me that weren't going to be running my new found pace and seemed to be overtaking most of the way. I managed to come up to the Tyne bridge to see the Red Arrows fly over. I kept it steady and at about 9 miles we moved into the hilly section and my pace slowed a bit. Up until now it had been a bit too hot and with all the runners it was difficult to feel any breeze so around 11 miles it was nice when it started to drizzle and then rain. I pushed on, though I was getting tired but managed a bit of a sprint over the last 50m. So I was really pleased to see I actually got under 1:40 at 1:39:06. Once I had stopped and did some cool down stretches the rain really started to come down a bit more and I thought Louise would be suffering with that.
However, I was very pleased to see Louise slightly earlier than I had expected given the heavy rain. She had just missed out again but managed another personal best of 2:00:37. Instead of being relieved that she had actually done it quicker than last year, was really disappointed to have missed out of nipping under 2 hours. She reckons she got stuck behind too many people on the final mile along the sea front......the heavy rain wouldn't have helped either.
We made our way to the Parkinson's UK charity tent where the staff and volunteers plied us with hot tea and some food. In fact the salty crisps and sandwiches helped prevent Louise from suffering too much at the end. We watched the Red Arrows do their usual amazing display over the sea front. With foil blankets wrapped round us to try and keep the biting wind at bay we made our long trek back (well about 3 mile walk) over the Tyne via the ferry to the B&B in Tynemouth where a hot shower and some suitable rest awaited us before heading out for a nice Sunday roast in the evening.
The support from the crowds was amazing as always and to see all the runners help make a difference is a very humbling experience.
We are very pleased with how it has gone and despite our late start with the fund raising I think we will do quite well in the end with what we hope will be around the £800 mark for Parkinson's UK so a big thank you all our UKAT supporters.... Mike, Dave, Sean & John for your generous support.
But don't forget, our Just Giving web page (below) will be taking donations for quite a while yet so there's still plenty of time to help make a difference.
Sean & Louise
P.S. Looking at the Great Run website has our times slightly faster by about 26 seconds, not sure why that is but I'm not complaining ;-)
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