Paul Walters runs the London Marathon

Report from Sunday 17th October 2004

GNR & GSR Completed

Last month I went up to Darlington for a weekend to run the Great North Run, a half marathon from Newcastle to South Shields. The weekend was good although a little stressful, and I finished the run in 1 hour 45 minutes from crossing the start line, which is my best GNR to date. I set off on the 7 minute mile marker, but nevertheless I was ploughing through people for the whole run, so I can obviously do a lot better. The worst part of the weekend was probably standing on Darlington station watching the last train to Newcastle pulling out of the station. We (myself and my friend Dren) walked back to the B & B and got in the car, but we then started heading south rather than north because of the A1(M) junction! I got to the start in plenty of time though.

The whole family went down to Portsmouth for the weekend to run in the Great South Run. My daughter Lizzie ran in the Great South Mini Run. She ran really well all things considered, and finished her three quarters of a mile in 11 minutes. That night we stayed in a Travelodge in Chichester, and unfortunately we had four men staying above us who worked nights, so the rolled in at 2AM to watch TV and talk all night. This was a bit of a nightmare. I was up for the run the next day though, and we got to the start in plenty of time. This year the starts were much better organised, with three starts spaced over 20 minutes, to allow 15,000 people to start the race. All runners wore chips on their ankles to time over the start and finish lines for accurate measurements. I set off far too quickly, and realised I'd blown it by mile 4. I trotted home fairly slowly, but picked up speed in the last 2 miles, only to feel a tightening on the left side of my chest at nine and a half miles, and then spent 5 minutes in a St. John's Ambulance. My final time was 1 hour 31 minutes or the like, which all things considered doesn't really matter!

Lizzie's total fund will be 100 for the Arthritis Research Campaign.

Over the last month or so I have had a cold and a muscle pull of my left calf, but my legs have been feeling rather niggley. Even the day before the Great South Run I though I would not be running because my hip hurt. I'm going to perform regular stretching, which is something I'm going to start to do every day, although I always say that!

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