20 September 2009

Great North Run 2009

The goal of the last 6 months of couch to running.
An amazing event for someone who has not done anything like this before.
My dad gave me a lift in the morning and without hitting any traffic was their about 2 hours early. This gave me an interesting view of seeing a couple of dozen runners wondering around progressively turning into 10's of thousands.
As the area was getting more and more full, the buzz was incredible. I mean in comparison, I had been to see premiership football games, and the buzz among the fans before the games is great, but this was something else. The anticipation was exciting, although I was nervous, and on my own, I was focused on the job in hand. Before I knew it, we were being prompted by the sound system and video screens to do a variety of static and dynamic stretches in a "Mr Motivator" style.
Once the race got underway, it was about 15 minutes until our group got to the start line (as it was a staggered start by groups selected by estimated finishing time). The first couple of miles were great, with the regular "OGGY OGGY OGGY? OYE OYE OYE!" being sung through the motorway underpasses my adrenaline and excitement levels were high.
After about the forth mile and the first long incline started I realised that I had been running relatively fast for me, and the sun (around 20 deg Celsius) was taking its tole on me, I ended up walking for about 5-10 minutes, sharing battle stories with some other early walkers. But soon i was back running again.
I loved the crowds there. Willing to hold out their hands for high fives going around the course, cheering you on, and by name (as the charity tops had your names one) which gave a sense of achievement (although premature) that you where doing it, me, Simon, was competing in this event.
By the time the 2nd Long hill was in my sights it was time for more walking as i had never run more than 8 miles in training and nothing in this heat. I was put off by the more competent runners being swept up by the St Johns Ambulance members being given oxygen masks etc. So the "tortoise" would win the race.
When i set out, i was aiming for 2:20 - 2:30 so hitting the higher mark with 15 seconds to spare was a great first attempt, especially with the weather conditions, and my moderate to basic training.

See below my (limited) data for the Great North Run 2009

Here is the root from mapmyrun.com