I’d absent-mindedly agreed to run it in back in May, thinking it would be a good warm-up event for my first marathon, the Bristol + Bath Marathon (25 October)Â â€“ and I do still think that, I just feel a bit, uh, unprepared for it, given that it’s happening in omfg three weeks and I’ve never run it before.
So I decided to ask my friend Tamsin â€“ who’s done the Great North Run three timesÂ â€“Â for a summary/synopsis/lowdown on what I could expect from my first time. Here’s what she told me.
So, Tamsin, why have you done the Great North Run three times? Â
“Stupidity? No, it was to get fit. Iâ€™m not a gym-type person â€“ I get bored easily â€“ and I wanted a target to aim for.
“Plus, the atmosphere is brilliant. The crowds are flipping amazing and really keep you motivated. Iâ€™m a cold-hearted cow but they made me feel all warm and fuzzy.”
It’s a hugelyÂ popular raceÂ â€“ have you ever beenÂ slowed down by the masses of fellow runners?Â
“Well, I hope youâ€™ve down put a faster estimated finishing time than you actually think youâ€™ll do, so that you start relatively near the front.
I only overtook Jimmy Savile on the seventh mile
“I started further back one year as a friend had put down a slower time than me. I probably ran about 16 miles in all, as I spent the entire race running around people. I only overtook Jimmy Savile on the seventh mile…”
Brrr. So what’s the route like? Is it hilly?Â
“Yeah, it’s very undulating. You come down a huugeÂ hill at the end though, down onto the seafront, which is a massive relief.
“The last half-a-mile is completely flat though, so it looks shorter than it is â€“Â thatâ€™s a fucking killer if youâ€™re a dick like me and decide to sprint at the end.”
Anything else I should know?Â
The worst bit is getting on the Metro afterwards. That’s a bitch
“Every child wants a high-fiveÂ â€“ that’s probably why Savile loved it.Â But watch out for the people with big globs of Vaseline on their hands. Theyâ€™re trying to help out with runners’ chafing, I realised too late.
“The worst bit is getting on the Metro afterwards. That’s a bitch. Oh, and my toenails fell off one year. I think it was because of all the uppy/downy hills.”
Okay cool, I’ll gaffer-tape mine down. Thanks for the advice. Â
“Hope it helps. Good luck!”
HIGH POINT OF THE WEEK:Â My ‘long run’ this week was 16 miles, which is further than I’ve ever run before, and I don’t want to jinx things but it was *whispers* pretty easy. Looks like spending what feels like every waking bastard hourÂ trainingÂ might be paying off.
LOW POINT OF THE WEEK: Googled my Great North Run bib number (8712) to see if anything cool or inspiring came up, but all I got was this: the Rosemont 8712 Magnetic Flow Meter System. No I’ve no idea either.