Last week's Team Run Geordie Run total for the Great North Run in aid of The Children's continues to grow as the task of collecting in sponsor money nears a close. The current total is £1,559.60 with an impressive £2744.59 raised so far in 2012.
For me, last week's run got underway with a interview on BBC Newcastle with the lovely Sue Sweeney. I've spoken to Sue a few times before and was in the studio with her in the run up to USA 2011. Her enthusiasm is always infectious on the radio and she really helps to convey the atmosphere of an event to listeners the world over.
Following the interview it took my guide (Dorothy aka Donna) quite a long time to get to the back of the start area. Given the fact that I was running dressed as a Lion, I thought that it would be a good idea to start as far back as possible. The suit has very poor visibility and the last thing I wanted was to cause an obstruction to the faster runners.
The heat generated inside the suit was suffocating. That said, I didn't suffer as much as I had while training in the suit. I think the recent run through Death Valley may have helped! As you can see from the image below, I had plenty of room and the late start paid off.
I was pleased to have the opportunity to get some fresh air when I stopped at the 6 mile point to talk to the ITV Tyne Tees reporter Derek Proud. The interview was shown on North East Tonight the following day. I was thrilled to see that they'd chosen the lion as the backdrop in the studio (pictured below).
Dorothy (Donna) and I completed the Great North Run in 03:19:58. It was easily the toughest hard marathon I'd ever done! A pleasing £54.10 had been collected in the bucket on the way round too.
Donna raised £223 which is another excellent fundraising effort from a Team Run Geordie Run member.
I'm already looking forward to next year's Great North Run. As yet, I'm undecided what costume I'll be wearing but I will be doing it in fancy dress. I'm not normally one for gimmicks while running but I actually found it a lot of fun!
And now for further news of some of the other members of Team Run Geordie Run. First up is Mick Butler (pictured below) who ran the Great North Run in a time of 02:00:12. Mick's fundraising this year is an amazing £999.99. Tremendous effort Mick. I'm sure Mick won't mind me telling you that he had to swap his original Team Run Geordie Run vest for a "different" size. For a small donation to The Children's Foundation, I'll tell anyone if he needed a bigger or smaller size!
My son Jack (pictured below) ran the Junior Great North Run the day before the main run. I accompanied him round the 4k course and he completed it in 00:26:56. Jack raised £50 and is keen to do further events in the future. Well done Jack.
Sara Sarginson raised £161 and completed her very first Great North run in 02:26:52. Her build up to the run was hampered with injury and I know that she'll be keen to run much faster this weekend when she does the Redcar Half Marathon. Sara can often be seen running with her pet Beagle, Murphy. She keeps an excellent blog which can be viewed here. Well done Sara.
Mark Douthwaite and Kathryn Clark (pictured below) raised £110 and £50 respectively. Mark completed the run in 02:31:31. Kathryn's time was 03:02:27. It was great to catch up with them both in The Children's Foundation tent at the end of the run. Well done to you both.
Finally in this Team Run Geordie Run update, is Garry Dodd (pictured below) who completed the run in 01:38:28. This was Garry's 14th Great North Run and he raised £125 for The Children's Foundation. That's a great effort on both the fundraising and the race time. Well done Garry.
Team Run Geordie Run's total for the Great North Run currently stands at £1,714.60. Overall, in 2012 a huge £2,949.59 has been raised for The Children's Foundation. Well done again to all concerned.
Thanks again to Benfield Motor Group for supplying the Team Run Geordie Run vests and to Dave Shenton of Shenton Creative for designing them.