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GNR 2008: Defeated!

paul is a winrar!

So my big run was yesterday. My dad lives just 10 miles from the start of the race so we set off around 9am (he joked that I should have just run in rather than getting a lift.) The race starts on the central motorway in Newcastle, and they close the road the night before the race to get it ready. As we got closer to the start of the race we began to see more and more people walking along the motorway, which is a really weird sight – like something out of a zombie film :)

It was a sunny morning, but only about 7C so after about an hour of waiting for everyone to assemble I was wishing that I did have a giant Sackboy costume to wear :) By 10:30am I was stood shoulder to shoulder with thousands of runners and I was starting to wonder if we’d all just fall over in one giant tangle of limbs as soon as the starting gun went off. Fortunately this didn’t happen - after a few hundred metres everyone had started to spread out and the pace began to pick up.

The first few miles felt really good. You run through a number of tunnels and underpasses and you can hear the echoes of ‘Oggy oggy oggy’ for miles as people pass through them. After passing through the underpasses you cross over the Tyne Bridge into Gateshead. I was in San Francisco recently and was overawed by the Golden Gate bridge, but there was something quite spine-tingling about running over the Tyne bridge alongside 50,000 other runners.

As you cross into Gateshead the course begins to climb for 3 miles, and my initial burst of energy rapidly began to fade. 6 miles into the race I began to worry that I’d set off too fast. If I was Sackboy one or two presses on the left d-pad would be needed to express my emotions at that point :) Just as I was starting to flag the course levelled out, Atlas by Battles came on my ipod and I started to pick up the pace again.

The hardest bit of the race was around 10-11 miles in. The course starts to climb unphill again and then in a cruel twist, just as the North Sea comes into sight you swing around a corner and see that there’s over a mile still left to run. That last mile was an absolute killer! The course is totally flat at this point, and you can see the finish line in sight, but it just didn’t seem to get any closer. After what seemed like a month, I crossed the line in a time of 1:37:25, and promptly pressed up on my d-pad 3 times :)

Finished!

Many thanks to everyone for their comments of support an donations. Thanks to your help I’ve managed to raise nearly £1000 for FSID, which is truly incredible. In addition, Media Molecule have generously offered to match the money I’ve raised through sponsorship, which brings the total raised to £2000!


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