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Lord Lawson of Beamish

by Karl Oakes

September 25, 2010

Great North Run – big un’s race

After my warm up with Erin on the Saturday I couldn’t wait for Sunday as I had been pretty nervous about it all week as I knew I was pretty fit and wanted a decent time. As usual the night before the GNR, I had about 2 hours sleep all night, full of nervous energy and I was glad when the alarm went off at 7:30am. We were meeting another friend who was also running and drove through in traffic that was a lot busier than usual, so we got dropped off at the Redheugh bridge. We walked up taking in the atmosphere that you only get from this great event and said our goodbyes and I went into zone A with the fast lads. As usual in zone A there was plenty of space to warm up, no getting squashed like a sardine for me. I saw poor David DanieIs (Wallsend lad) squashed in zone B and he had been there since 8:00am. As I was warming up I could feel my trainers rubbing the back of my heel and I started flapping as I could feel a blister starting already and hadn’t raced a metre yet! I was thinking to myself “I knew I should have bought the 40 quid ones, instead of the cheap ones on the rack outside of Start Fitness, you tight g*!” . Fortunately, I saw Martin Slater (Gateshead lad) smearing some Vaseline in some unmentionable area and asked him if I could pinch some for my heel. Darren (Birtley lad) and Keith (Chester unfortunate :) ) turned up and we were soon jostling for a position and I lined up alongside John Donneky (Derwentside lad). The elites were introduced and there was a wonderful response when Haile Gebrselassie was announced and then we were off and as usual it was a fast start. I ran with Keith for the first couple of miles and then I lost him and I managed to hang on to a couple of lads. 5K passed and I looked at my watch and I thought “Woo that’s a bit quick” and kept going as I felt OK , 10K came and I looked at my watch and thought “P.B.!!!”. Miles 7 and 8 went round without any problems, but then the wheels well and truly fell off at mile 9 ( 6:20 minute mile ) as I started to pay for the earlier quick miles. Fortunately, Keith caught me up at this point and dragged me round for the last few miles tapping out a steady pace and I just hung on to him until we dropped down to the last mile where he picked it up a bit and managed to get some space between us while I was pouring a bottle of water over my head! That last mile doesn’t get any easier and I knew I was pretty close to P.B., but not quite quick enough so I decided to try and catch as many people along to the finish and I knew Martin was getting closer to me so I went for it and with about 30 metres to go I managed to sneak past him and finish on the road, 45 seconds slower than my P.B, completely wrecked and hanging onto the metal railings for at least a minute trying to get my breath back after my last ditch sprint for the finish line.


Strong finish for Darren


Strong finish for Karl

Once I finally recovered and had a chat with the some of lads at the elite finish I made my way to the exit to collect my t-shirt and bumped into Drew with his Birtley vest on, which was great as I hadn’t seen him for a good few months and he’d obviously been still training as he had a great run. Well that’s was another GNR done for me and I hung around to watch a couple of friends finish and then off home to eat cake, a midweek massage and enjoying an easy week recovering, however that didn’t go to plan but that’s another story!

Shout outs

Thanks Keith for helping me through those tough miles. Sorry Martin… I know how annoying it is to get caught like that and you know you are normally a lot quicker than me anyway. Well done Darren, awesome time. Well done Drew and Dave, see you for the XC ? Anybody else who ran wearing the Birtley vest. Thanks Dave for sorting my legs out. Big thanks goes out to Karen, my loyal supporter on the day and always.

Posted in races 7 years ago Permalink


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