Great North Run, Local Running Events, North East of England, Running, Training

Running Blind – My Greatest Challenge

On Saturday morning, I awoke with a tinge of nerves, excitement and emotion.

I’ve been building towards this moment and, although it would only be 5K, it would be my greatest challenge I’d be facing.

If you haven’t seen, here’s a video to remind you of what I decided to do…there more of the blog below, fear not!

Waking up that morning, I was a little nervous, excited but more so, proud. This challenge has been so much fun to organise and execute. The support from the RNIB, friends and family has been excellent – this was my motivation.

When I got to the start line, I checked in with my guide, Peter aka, Run, Just Run and we sort of went through a game plan, but mainly I picked out points where we would need to both focus i.e. the grassed area about 800m or so into the run, as it can be a little uneven. This is why the practice run at Druridge Bay was key, to gain that level of trust and communication.

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On top of that, we had a mini Team Totum reunion with Andy, who, like us both, would be running the Great North Run on Sunday. It was great to see him come down and also the amount of running friends, shout out to Paul and Ashleigh here, that also had my back, with the wonderful addition of my parents being there, too. I got caught up in out all, that the start came out of nowhere and we almost missed it – we both laughed at this.

The first mile took some getting used to. I wasn’t very comfortable in terms of where I was and too busy worrying about if was holding anybody up. We conquered the grassy area and the climb with ease, although I got over confident on the hill thinking we’d finished when really, we still had a bit to do.

It was after this where I started to panic slightly – I struggled to pick out where I was and freaked out. I keep asking Peter “where are we? Where are we?” All I wanted was to be told that we were heading towards the final mile of the race. When we did, I instantly relaxed and really began to pick up the pace.

After a quick vlog update, and a few words of encouragement, me and my guide flew towards the finish and after a tiny stumble, we clocked a time of 35:00 in the end, a four minute personal best for us both and one emotional bugger.

I caught up with my mother and fellow Parkrunners, telling them the story of my race and then thanking Peter for giving up his time to help me out. When I got to my car, it all sunk in. Weeks of planning, a practice run and believing in not just myself but Peter too, all caught up with me and I did get a little bit emotional, as I felt I raised the profile of why I chose the RNIB for this year’s Great North Run.

I can’t thank everyone enough, the volunteers, those who took pictures, ran with me, cheered me on, supported the Just Giving page and even sent a message of good luck.

Next up, my one and an only half marathon of the year…

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4 thoughts on “Running Blind – My Greatest Challenge”

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