The Great North Run – from my sofa.

Stuck to the sofaDue to being dreadfully, seriously and earnestly “unwell” yesterday, (also known as cannot-be-arsed in extremis ), instead of being out running* 7 miles, I found myself ensconced on my rather too comfortable sofa, watching the Great North Run.  The “biggest” half-marathon in the world (yet still just 13.1miles – how is that?!) takes place in Newcastle and Gateshead and attracts it seems, in addition to the elite athletes, EVERYONE in the UK who owns a pair of trainers. (Well, maybe not the sort of people who wear their joggy-bottoms inside their socks). Everyone else though, was there.

7ft Bananas, Spidermen and Wonder Woman, running in 20 degree ‘heat’ (this is the UK), all looking exuberant and charged with the sort of maniacal energy that fun-runners sweat out of their over-worked pores. All running for their own personal causes and raising huge amounts of charity money in the process.  Instead of finding it boring watching 54 thousand-odd (some very odd) runners stream through the north east, I found it all engaging and quite emotional in places. The stories behind why people do this are truly inspirational and I felt humbled watching them.  It has toughened my resolve that I WILL do my own 1st half-marathon next month and even though I am not looking for sponsorship for the run (saving the begging letters for LEJOG 2010, naturally) I hope that just be being there and taking part (and paying an extortionate entry fee) that I will ‘do my bit’  to support running-induced joie de-vivre. I may even find myself running through Newcastle next year, dressed as a runner.

Good for the BBC, who continue to broadcast this extraordinary gathering of sweaty people. I was quite exhausted by the end and had to have a nap.

*For ‘running’, read ‘staggering’

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