I’m not sure if you’ve noticed the weather over the last few months, but I certainly have. Getting out the front door to be met with wind and rain isn’t always easy. While it wasn’t always easy it was necessary in order to put in the training miles to ensure I stood a decent chance of completing the 13 miles that was the Great North Run.
Dad has good form. This is his third half marathon in 15 months and I simply don’t share this form. But I have age on my side and a good base level of fitness, so I was naively confident that this winning combination would allow me to keep up with the ol’ man. It was only when Dad let slip his times on the previous races that I realized I was actually going to have to dig deep and get running. And so I did, rain or shine.
And it paid off. I was confident I’d be able to complete the distance and aimed to be relaxed about the time. Which is just as well because two long steep hills and thousands of runners make the Great North Run a tough course to achieve a personal best.
Running the race with my Dad was a great experience and will remain a treasured memory. On those busy stretches where we weaved our own routes through the fellow runners, I’d lose him for a moment only to see his familiar determined face and yellow Aquinoe T-shirt emerge a moment later from the anonymous others.
I can learn a lot from my Dad and his approach to running is a lot like his approach to life. Keep the balance, think long term, put in the hard work and reap the rewards for both yourself and others.
Running can be a solo affair but with the support of friends, family, our sponsors and Jean’s loyal and exuberant presence on the side line, I felt both during training and on the day very much part of something bigger.
We were two of 54 000 runners, the majority of whom were running for great causes. But there is something very special about running for a cause that presumably no one else was running for that day. We’re hoping to raise over 1000 Pounds and I know the money will go a long way to making a direct and tangible difference. And all of a sudden the weather outside my front door isn’t such a big deal after all.
Thank you to our sponsors for making a difference. Thank you to Jean for her unfaltering support and ability to cover more ground against the clock than the runners. The image of your cheery face in the crowd cheering us on will stay with me. And thank you to Dad for being on my team.