The Scribbler

14 June 2011

Here we go again

Filed under: Great North Run,run — The Scribbler @ 19:59
Tags: , , , ,

I got my T-shirt yesterday. The confirmation that I’ve guaranteed my place in the Great North Run up until 2013. Whether I run it for another 2 years is another question. But I am doing it again this year.

Me at the end of the Great North Run 2010

At the end of the Great North Run 2010

And I’ll be running for the same reason I ran last year. My baby sister Ava, who we never got to know, but who is much loved and remembered. So I’ll be raising funds and awareness for Sands, the neonatal and stillbirth charity. They help families like ours deal with the trauma of losing a baby and support research to try and reduce the number number of babies who die.

Through my fundraising last year, I met a number of families who have been through this, so I know Sands does some great work. It’s been my privilege to meet and become friends with some truly lovely people who have dealt with their own sad losses. It’s hard for people to talk about this. To share such sadness. But I think it’s important.

And that’s why I choose to remember and celebrate Ava, and all the other babies, on the Great North Run. Because it is a celebration. An achievement. A milestone.

My fundraising will be a bit more low key this year, but I’ve set up a page for donations: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/michelleGNR2011

The Great North Run is the biggest running event in my home town and it’s been a feature in my year even before I started running.

I love the crowds, the atmosphere, the stories. I love seeing the runners out on the streets through the summer and then the silent anticipation of the day before, when you cannot hear the pounding of rubber on tarmac.

It’s a marker for me as a runner too. When I first entered it, it seemed almost impossible. But as I trained and learned through that first year of running, I pulled it into my grasp. Still a challenge, still to be respected, but an amazing marker on my journey.

Last year the Blaydon Race marked the end of ‘short’ running and I made the move into the cycle of gently increasing the miles over the long weekend run to build up to the half marathon.

It’s a bit different this year. I still have a 10k in the mix and a triathlon in August, not to mention the Northumberland Coastal Run in July. But the Great North Run still looms large and gives me a reason to extend those weekend runs to 8 miles, 9 miles, 10… And I’m already looking forward to it.

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