Blogs > Mark Black > Sore legs and Stories!

Sore legs and Stories!

19th September 2011

An amazing weekend with the Split festival, Sunderland winning 4-0 and the Great North Run, lots of reasons to be proud of where we live.

So I made it then 13.1 miles all the way to South Shields, with only my legs to carry me. I some how managed a time of 2hrs 11mins which I am so chuffed with considering I walked some of it and my legs were giving way by the end. The Great North Run is one of the those events which fill you with pride when you watch it, it captures everything which is great about the Northeast and I've always said that I would do it, so now I've done it twice is something special.

Standing on the Central motorway with over 50,000 other runners is always a great feeling, always a little odd to see so many blokes having a wee as well, shame seems to go out of the window! It is much better for the men I must add. It's always odd at the start because you hear the gun go then it takes you some time to get over the line. I started off running with two friends but after a couple of mile realised I wasn't able to maintain their pace and dropped back. Running on my own I thought would be awful but there are so many people around you and the crowd chearing that the time went over fairly quickly. I rememebr getting to half way and thinking everystep is one closer to the finish. It's always a little bad when someone in a costume overtakes you and when someone dressed as a giant sunflower passed me, that wasn't a great moment, but I did pass the man carrying a fridge on his back, so that was ok.

To begin with the sun was out and it was really warm on one side of my face, so the rain was very welcome, and definetley helped, as weird as that seems. I'm sure I would have been slower if it hadn't rained. I got to 10 miles and felt better than I expected, it also coincided with the Boost zone where you get music and jelly babies! The last 3 miles were really tough, and I started to get cramp so had to stop a number of times to release my leg which went into spasm. It also happened during the final mile and I remember thinking just let me get to the finish line, I've come all of this way. Luckily I did finish and hobbled over the line and down to the Marie Curie tent where I was met with smiling faces and everything I needed to recover.

You get a goody bag with your medal and t-shirt as well as other goodies. There are a couple of items in the bag which do seem a little odd. As well as the water and sports drinks and nutrition bars there are T-Bags and toothpaste in there, no toothbrush but toothpaste!! Not entirely sure what use they are stood in a field in the middle of South Shields, but appreciated the thought none the les!!!

People have been asking me how the race was and genuinely I love the fact that I've been part of it and am very proud that it takes place in our region. I will probably do it again at some point, just not next year. As I write this the back of my legs ache so much and I still have a lovely John Wayne style walk, was it worth it...I have to say yes, but don't embark on it lightly, put the training in and you'll get even more out of the day. It is the WORLDS biggest half marathon and I'd say if you can do it even once in your life, it's well worth doing. I'm now off to have a lie down!!

Posted by Mark Black at 3:07pm

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