This year I have misguidedly signed up for the Great North Run and the Kielder Marathon.
I’ve done the Great North Run before and it was a fantastic experience. The moment when you run (very slowly due to the sheer volume of runners) across the motorway through Newcastle surrounded by thousands of people all in it together is incredible. Then you realise through the thunder of feet there are that many people running on the carriageway below you too. Getting to eight miles and hearing some kids shout your name. You look up in a delirious blur wondering how they know you and remember you’ve got your name ironed onto your charity shirt – then see their big cheesy grins egging you on. Coming round the corner with three miles to go into the heaving streets of South Shields feeling part of a respected, exciting pageant that all the town’s come out to cheer. Rounding the next corner and seeing the sea. The coast means the finish line – but bollocks it’s still 2 miles away…
Geordies are like no other crowd in the world.
But the next challenge makes those 13.1 miles feel like the warm-up act. The Kielder Marathon – Britain’s most beautiful run.
Set in the beautiful fells surrounding the largest reservoir in England. I used to go for family bike rides there in the summer. They were a gruelling 10 miles on a long day. The next time I see those fells I’ll be pounding them without wheels for 26 miles. There are only 2000 people stupid enough to take on this hilly marathon – hopefully this year there’ll be 2500 and I’m one of them.
But all of this pales into insignificance by comparison to this man…
This is Graham – aka @whickhamrunning – being interviewed by Sue Sweeney at my humble place of work, BBC Newcastle on 285.47 miles. That’s how far he’s run since his first 5 miles hungover on New Year’s Day 2012. He’s running 2012 miles throughout the year, which means running five miles every single day.
You can follow his progress in his very well kept blog: http://2012milesin2012graham.wordpress.com/
So just a few hundred miles more and maybe I can get a call from Tony Blair too…?!
Good luck Graham!
To sponsor Fi running the Great North Run for Mind, a Mental Health charity please go to http://www.justgiving.com/FionaMarleyPaterson. Sponsorship for the Kielder Marathon will go to two smaller local charities called Girl India and Mercy Trucks. These charities spend absolutely nothing on advertising or admin so everything goes to the people who need it but that means it’s harder to donate online. Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to sponsor the old fashioned way. Charity numbers can be supplied!