Our team is limbering up for the Great North Run, and ready to tackle the 13-mile route in aid of When You Wish Upon A Star. Or nearly ready… Our Head of IT, Paul Stone, shares his training story.
An inspiring cause
I enjoy doing raising money for charity at least once a year; this year I decided to help the Strata cause after being inspired by a video played at the Charity Summer Ball. It showed three year old Pippa and her Frozen Party, organised by When You Wish and was extremely emotion invoking. Thousands of people take part in the Great North Run, a 13.1-mile from Newcastle upon Tyne to South Shields, every year, raising money for great causes like this one.
Eyes on the lamp post
My training started in May, but I had 5-6 weeks off with an injury. I try to run as many miles as I can, as often as I can. I’ve been interspersing this with a weekly game of 5-a-side football to add to my overall fitness. I started on 3-mile runs, which were hard as I live in a hilly area! Each time I’d try to get past the next lamp post before having to walk for a bit, it’s not very scientific but it works for me. I’m up to running 7 miles now so hoping to achieve 10 miles on Sunday and for that to see me through.
This will be my 5th Great North Run and I’ve run a number of 10k’s over the years. My first half marathon was way back when I was 17 and I achieved my personal best of 1 hour 30 minutes. There’s no chance of achieving that time these days but my ambition is to run a full marathon before my body gives up.
Orange slices will see me through
The atmosphere at the Great North Run is fantastic, the turn out of the crowd and support they give you is amazing. There are a number of bands on route to keep you going and I particularly remember a guy spraying runners with a hosepipe from a tap out of his house! People will stand on the road side and hand out sweets and orange slices to give you energy to keep you going. It’s always nice to try and catch a glimpse of the Red Arrows as they fly over the Tyne Bridge, something I hope to see this year.
How to muscle your way to the finish line
The advice I would give to anyone taking part is to enjoy the day, don’t start too quickly and don’t expect a personal best, the crowds are too big. One final point, don’t eat the muscle rub they give you at the end, thinking it’s an energy gel. Experience tells me it doesn’t taste very nice!
If you’d like to sponsor Paul and any of the Strata team taking part in the Great North Run, please go to our JustGiving page.