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Great North Run? - Andrew Throup

The day started at 5am, up, breakfast and to Easingwold for 6, sharing a lift with Mike, thanks Michael Wallis, great company as always.

An easy drive up saw us at the finish car park for 7:45, then onto the Metro bus to get to the start line. It's always a great atmosphere with a buzz of excitement, something you must experience at least once. We saw a few other #teamerc 🙂

I met with Pete, pre-planned and were aiming for similar times. We moved to the start pens for 10:40, warmup from Mr Motivator at 10:50, 11am and we're off in the masses, 60,000 of us! Being near the front it only took about 3 minutes to cross the line, I know Mike said he was nearly 1 hour!

It was also Mo Farah's last competitive run (he was awesome and finished 4th overall, a real inspiration to us all).

So, the run. I had a pace plan until the hot weather showed up the week commencing, stood there baking in the sun I decided to head out at a pace I felt I could run initially and judge it from there. You do get lulled into a false sense of security with the downhill start and everyone else off like a train around you.

5k passed, hot, sweating far too much. Water stations appreciated.

10k arrived, second 5k split down a minute or so, feeling tired.

(Moving into miles now):

8 miles - a point I consider the breaking zone (it's my 7th Great North half so know the course well). Yep, I was already broken from the heat, so after crossing the timing mat I decided I needed to put the brakes on if I was to continue running to the finish. I could have stopped so many times but found the will power to carry on, thinking of the great cause and all you lovely people that sponsored me, it was finish the race, not race the race now. It was soooo hot.

Showers at the road side were appreciated as I climbed the incline from mile 8, only 5 more miles to go... the crowds were so generous, ice lollies, beers, sweets, high 5's, just great!

Mile 10, suffering, thinking why... why do you do this 🙂. At this point I was thinking, only a parkrun to go and you can dismiss the last mile due to the crowds cheering you on down to the finish.

Compartmentalising the race, run always helps me break down the miles. After climbing mile 11 and 12, descending down to the 90 degree left onto the finish mile it was nearly over.

800m to go, thinking '800 meters - 4 minutes or less to go' then it's over, job done, loads of money raised for such a deserving charity.

Finished!! yes! and so glad. I met back up with Pete, we separated around mile 8, I could see he was still looking strong. A beer later, feeling relieved it was all over, note a second beer may have been had...

I met Mike later at the charity village, had some snacks at the Alzheimer's tent and headed back to the car as the rain started to fall. We made it just in time before the heavens opened. Little did we know driving away (I say away lightly) from the GNR that flash floods had occurred closing our only way out!

3:40pm we were in the car, we got home at 10pm! All that sitting we could have flown to Tenerife! A true nightmare. BUT we went, we ran, we concurred and you ALL did me proud with your sponsorship.

£592 raised for Alzheimer's Society, thank you everyone!

Andrew Throup

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