On the run
I was back up in the North East this weekend to take part in the 2017 Great North Run. And what an event it was. The run was devised by former Olympic 10,000m bronze medalist and BBC Sport commentator (and one of my heroes), Brendan Foster. And what began as a fairly small race has grown to become the largest half marathon in the world.
The first Great North Run was staged on 28 June 1981, when 12,000 runners participated. Yesterday more than 43,000 of us lined up to take part in this epic event. But this is not just about runners out for a run. Almost everybody running was doing it for a reason. Running in memory of a loved one, running to raise money for charity. I was running with my big brother – in memory of our Dad and to raise a few quid for Bude Sea Pool. For pretty much everyone there, it was our way of doing a little bit to help, to remember. The collective sense of good and the camaraderie was almost palpable – everything from the sea of smiling faces down to the passing round of a bag of jelly babies at the start!
Just like cabinetmaking, running a half marathon does take a certain amount of focus and commitment. You can’t just do it on a whim. For me, this meant getting up at 5.30am all summer to run before the kids woke up. When I was studying at Rowden, it meant living on-site in a caravan for a year. It meant going back into the workshop after everyone else had gone home to practice and practice – and then practice some more.
But I didn’t mind any of it because I was having the best time ever. And this is what life should be about. Doing something that you love, that you are passionate about. And never forget, we are in it together.
Until next time,
PS. I didn’t win. That prize went to Sir Mo Farah (but, boy, was I proud to be in the same race!)