I survived...

...the BUPA 2002 Great North Run :)

I ran it with my sister-in-law's husband, Ian. It was the first time I'd ever ran that far, and my training over the last four months has been pretty non-existant.

That said, I still managed a fairly respectable time of 2 hours and 12 minutes.

I was hoping for sub-2 hours, but we made the classic schoolboy error of starting at our predicted finish time marker, instead of at the front like all the other muppets!

We then spent the whole race overtaking people who were bluffing their case by starting well in advance of their actual finish time

I reckon that cost me the 12 mins over the course of the event to be honest, but we get guarenteed entry into next years event, and rest assured I shall not be making the same mistakes again

The course itself was good. A couple of big hills, but nothing as steep as I normally train on.

We had a really good warm up at the start (the whole race participated), and then as we were going around, the crowds were just amazing!

At a roundabout every 3 miles or so was a band playing live music which was very good.

I saw one woman fall over and cut her knee wide open, but lots of doctors were running, so she was well attended too.

There were quite a few sights in lycra as well - some heavenly and some not so Reading the back of other peoples T-shirts was a good laugh as well.

I didn't really think about how far was left or whatever, because the other runners help you along mentally a lot.

The only point I struggled a bit was from mile 10 to the finish. I didn't slow down, but was very hungry, and felt a bit weak.

Ian and I crossed the line together after a bit of a sprint (well, comparitively) for the last mile.

We were filtered through a number of lanes at the end, where Sally Gunnell was interviewing for the BBC. I said hello to her twice from a distance of 1.5 metres and she completely ignored me (she was not working at the time) - b*tch! She needs to pull her head out of her arse

I got a goody bag with my T-Shirt and medal in it, and some chocolate which I ate quickly - munch munch!

The RAF Red Arrows did a display that was good.

Leaving the place took ages, but then we went to the Metro Centre. I bought us tea at Pizza Hut, and you'd best believe I stuffed my face!

The traffic coming home was an absolute nightmare. Usually driving from Newcastle to Wiltshire takes 5 hours. We left at 1700 hrs (5pm) and expected to be home at 2200hrs.

Unfortunately due to sheer weight of traffic, and some absolute muppet deciding to shut the M1 at J22, we did not get home until 0135hrs this morning, some 3 and a half hours late :(

Journey home aside, I had a superb day, I am extremely proud of myself, and urge any of you thinking of having a go to apply for next year.

Great, great fun, superb atmosphere and a wonderful feeling of achievement at the end :)


  • You dont sound like you had a good time
  • I guess I didn't really. Like I said, I've never ran that far before, and did find it hard going at the end.

    I think I'm just a bit cross that I didn't beat the 2 hour target I set myself. To be fair, I had a four month lay off, and only started again 3 weeks before the race.

    The most I'd ran was 5 miles, so in that context I did well.

    There's a lot of lessons learned for next year, when I hope to smash 2 hours (1:45 ish), but I can't wait that long, so I'm going to be looking for another half-marathon in the next two months or so.

    I've got the bug for running that distance, so that's good. I guess I'm just frustrated that lack of self discipline/conditions on the day prevented me achieving what I wanted.

  • Well done!
  • Thanks Hilly :)

    I used to post on the old forum under the alias of 'The Mad Rapper'.

    Are any of the old crew about? Northern Lad etc?
  • Id do another half marathon if you want to do a pb, the GNR will frustrate you otherwise
    See other threads
    Good luck
  • Well Done John

    Very impressive time on no training - you naughty boy.

    Why don't you come along to the Salibury Imber Half on 2.3.03. Must be in your neck of the woods if you live in Wiltshire. There's a list of who's planning to run on "A race for all of us Part 3" and details on my thread wittily named "Salisbury Half". Both these are in the URWRCF forum. With only 100 runners plus 20 of us Forumites you won't have muppet problems there !

    Happy running!
  • Well done John

    There's a thread knocking around about Salisbury half marathon in March if you can wait that long
  • what a bozo - Just pressed send when I spotted DD had posted same thought (but more accurately!) - pleeeese can I have edit back :-)
  • See you at Cheddar, John!

    I encountered the woman whose race was brought to a premature conclusion by the knee injury. Litterbugs among us, prepare to be ashamed of yourselves - she had slipped on a discarded water bottle. She was remarkably philosophical about it on the bus (the going-home bus, that is, not the recovery bus). I'd have been furious. She and my sister made a right pair, one of them stretched on the seat because she couldn't straighten her leg, the other lying on the floor because she couldn't stay conscious.

    I wasn't impressed with the abuse of the starting positions either. It was just so unnecessary. If you're going to be doing run/walk at 10 miles, that's fair enough. If you start at the 1:45 position knowing that you're going to be ambling along six abreast and giggling about "The Great North Walk" by the time you reach the Tyne Bridge, you're as much of a litter hazard as the water bottles.
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭

    If you can travel North on 3rd November, Eddie's half marathon in Fort William is very flat, and usually has about 200 runners. Not the atmosphere of 30k+ runners, but no problem with fighting through the crowds!

    And you'll probably get home quicker!
  • WombleWomble ✭✭✭
    Why do people keep saying 'it was crowded so I couldn't run at the pace I wanted to', 'it took hours to get away from the finish area', 'didn't get the right t-shirt size even though you had to pre-order', 'people walking at the front of the field' and then ' must do it again next year'????

    Why not enter another half marathon next year and leave the GNR to the bbc? Check the RW race diary and the fora for recommendations (I won't mention the New Forest again but it is great).
  • D'you know, Womble, I think I might do that (I plan to enter several more half-marathons in the next 6 months) - or else treat the GNR as a leisurely training run with good craic since I have promised to do it again next year.
  • Brass monkeys anyone, I need support and protection from my parents when i do this in York

    Its a proper half marathon
  • Well done everyone who ran in the GNR. I was watching it on the tele at the gym and trying to spot the URWF vests!!
    Well done again.
  • Well done you lucky lot.
  • Well done to you! I would like to apply for next years GNR but not sure how far I would get. At the moment I have done next to no running outside, although I run 5km a day on a treadmill, in about 27 minutes (but improving). I realise though, that treadmills are easier than outside running, so will struggle to keep those times. Do you have any tips on training, and do you think I will bite off more than I can chew by entering the GNR? I have lost no end of weight these last 2 years (over 8 stones) and this is the next part of my fitness progression.
    Any advice would be gratefully appreciated. Thanks
  • Hi Barry West

    Go for it - why not?!! 8stones in two years is fantastic- you must feel like such a different person - anything's open to you now.27 mins for 5k is quite respectable. If you want to simulate road running try increasing the incline 1 -2 on the machine. This makes it much toughter but gets you ready for outside. Or just tell yourself one day that you're going to try to run outside. Promise yourself you won't take it too fast and you'll go home if it's horrible. But it won't be. And when you're outside there's so much to see, and you really go somewhere, you're not just on a machine - you're travelling, you're running.
    Once you've done that then start building up your distance. You've got a whole year to the next GNR - it'll be no problem.

    Good luck, let us know how you get on...
  • No problem Barry
    If you can lose 8 stone then you can run the GNR
    You clearly have enough willpower
  • Hi Benz

    Good luck in your interviews. My brothers a consultant (anaesthetist). You must be very clever. Have you finished your gin yet?

    I loved yoga too when I did it. We shall have to convert V-rap post race one day.

    Sleep well
  • Thank god gin has defrosted
    No, Im not clever
    Medicine is about endurance and a bit of common sense
    And fitting in with the conventions, unfortunately this is a problem for me, it doesnt help being female for a start
    Oh well, back to the gin
  • General practice is where it's at, Benz. Being female is a big advantage (as long as you don't mind being sought after), out-of-hours is optional, and you can be as oddball as you like. And you don't need to lick ass or crunch numbers! It was the fact that velociraptors don't like getting their tongues dirty that persuaded me out of O&G, although I gather other specialties aren't quite as bad as that one.
  • yeah O and G is nearly as bad as surgery
    Nephrology isnt too far behind
    Wait till I get my consultant job, the theyll see
    And my tongue remains firmly pink
  • Benz, when is the Brass Monkey please? Sounds like it should be January.
  • Jan 26th, theres a thread on events
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