Great North Running

Great North Running
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Great North Running

By Lauren Hoy

Despite her best efforts, Lauren isn't a runner. Inspired by her dad's running, she final decides to take on the Great North Run!

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Great North Running

By Lauren Hoy

I’m not a runner. I never have been despite my best efforts (my first ever junior run took over an hour to jog/walk 3 miles…) and yet I found myself contemplating the Great North Run in 2012.

My dad has always been the runner in our family. He’s been known to run 2 races in a day before! It’s taken me 29 years to take his inspiration but once I started running,(after you get past the beetroot faced gasping for air part) I actually started to enjoy it. 

I trained for months and as much as my little legs could carry me. Working my way from 3 to 6 to 10 miles. I could be often found dodging cows and dogs hurtling round the town moor. Taking in hot yoga classes to keep my injuries at bay.

When September eventually rolled round I was at my peak. I’d never ran more than 10 miles before but I was ready for the challenge alongside thousands of fellow runners and friends. Then the rain came as we waited for our turn to run. Powered mainly by nervous energy and bananas I wandered over the start line jumping up to high five the Olympians on my way. My carefully crafted running playlist was no more as the downpour broke my earphones. 

That first mile was tough with a grumbling chest infection and the worst stitch I've ever had. I could hardly stand up straight. But my god I was determined to do my best. And you know if I’d been plugged in listening to music and my GPS I would have missed so much along the way. Like the Singing Elvis and the encouraging chats with fellow runners en route.

I made new friends along the way. Running and chatting in between splutters to a man in just a tinsel wig and a thong. Everyone runs the Great North Run their own way. I love it!. 

I searched the crowds looking for familiar faces en route and they cheered and clapped and passed out jelly babies to keep us going. You start to lose track of how long or how far you’ve ran all you can do is keep moving.

Around 10 miles everything was sore. Pounding the pavements starts to take it's toll and I almost slowed down.

A voice cried out from the crowd ‘Come on Lauren you can do it!’ I met the eyes of the boy in the crowd and I beamed.

I needed that.

That last stretch downhill and along the seafront seemed the longest 400m of my life. The crowds blurred into one as I sped past. Exhausted and happy I collected my medal and went in search of my Dad who had been running along with me every step of the way.

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Project Details

Great North Greats

Celebrating the millionth runner to cross the finish line of the Great North Run with stories of determination, energy and world firsts.]

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