The Scribbler

7 September 2012

The best sun rises are the ones you share

I ran with Tony the Fridge again on Thursday morning. The sun was coming up over the silver curves of the Sage music centre on the banks of the Tyne. As we crossed the bridge beneath the Great North Run banner, we stopped for a photo and Tony tweeted the title of this blog post.

Me and Tony the Fridge on Day 20 of his Great North Run challenge

Me and Tony the Fridge on Day 20 of his Great North Run challenge

Tony was in fine fettle, full of banter. He’s so connected to this place, every corner holds a story, a memory, a person loved and remembered. I drifted along listening to his stories. I didn’t want the run to end.

Just four miles, but I learned so much. I am building my own memories of this place, this region that has notched itself into my heart, but I’ll never have that depth of connection to the big river. It made me reflective but joyful all day.

I have, in my inevitable way, lined up a string of treats and excitements, days so full of promise that I’m afraid I might burst looking forward to them all.

On Tuesday I took a day off for a long run and indulged myself by running it over much of the Great North Run route. It was a glorious running day, with sunshine, a slight breeze and a lightness in my mind that pleased me.

I had my music to help me keep tempo and pace, but much of the time I turned it off. Jeff passed me in his car and stopped to give me a shout as I just started off.  I caught him again later on and as always, he was full of encouragement. He said I was looking good, running well, and I knew it was true.

I ran most of the 11 miles easy and light, feeling well within myself, apart from a sticky fretful mental patch about 8 miles, but even that didn’t take too much wrestling. With a 10 miler behind me on Sunday I’d given myself permission to ease off if I needed to in the last mile. And as I turned onto the Leas at South Shields I was hit by a head wind and decided not to fight it.

I slowed my pace and cruised down to finish the set, a useful reminder that I will need mental focus to keep me going in the race, as once I stepped down, I could not find the pace to step back up again.

This weekend I go to race my last triathlon of the season with my fabulous friend Lesley. I’m surprisingly relaxed about it, even though it’s two months since my last tri. The race is almost irrelevant other than the excuse it gives me to spend time with my friends. I feel like I ought to be taking it more seriously. I know I will enjoy it whatever the result. We always have the best time together.

Then there’s the big run, which has, despite all my efforts and protestations, become the big run again. I feel that it’s all coming together just in time for me to give the Great North Run another good blast. And that it will mark season’s end for me.

But it’s not just about me. I’ll be just as excited for other friends doing it for the first time, in search of a time or just for the experience of being there. I’ll no doubt be as keen to catch up with them at the end as I will be to review my own progress. There are some this year who I will miss, but they’ll be on my mind too as I run and enjoy the day.

And after all that, I’ll get the chance to take a bit of a break, kick back, explore some new horizons and not worry too much about miles on the road, on the bike or in the pool. My amazing summer still holds much promise.

You can find out more about Tony the Fridge and his 30 Great North Runs challenge on twitter @tony_the_fridge, on facebook, or  his charity fundraising page.



  1. Nice one – I feel inspired to run a series of runs that involve sunrise. x


    Comment by Bad Wabbit — 9 September 2012 @ 18:45 | Reply

  2. […] will do again before race day. You can read about my experience of running with him on Day 13 and Day 20 of his challenge. He’s doing an amazing thing, so if you can show him your support, I know he […]


    Pingback by The further adventures of Tony the Fridge « The Scribbler — 12 September 2012 @ 20:49 | Reply

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