Nikki Jackson’s Great North Run

Back in July I saw on Facebook that The Hospice of St Francis were looking for runners to compete in the Great North Run 2014. Ever since the Hospice cared for my granddad when he lost his fight to cancer nearly 3 years ago, the Hospice has always been a cause close to my heart.

Sadly my Nan tripped over and fractured her hip so in my Granddads final days, the Hospice looked after both my Nan and my Granddad, just so they could spend as much time together as possible. So with that in mind when I saw on Facebook that they were looking for runners to take part in the Great North Run I thought to myself, can I take on this challenge?? Can I run that far??

For the last year I have been trying to get fit and lose weight and I am now successfully two stone lighter.I called my parents and asked them if they thought I could do it, as I only had 2 months to train. They said they thought I could so I emailed the right people, secured my place… and then the training began! When I went out on my first run I managed to cover 3 miles, but found it really hard, so over the next 2 months I increased my training by one mile at a time.

I stayed at the 5-6 mile mark for a while before I peaked at 10 miles, hoping the crowd would get me though the last 3 miles. The weekend of the Great North Run came round very quickly, luckily for me my mum and dad supported me 100% and we travelled up together. So I packed up my trainers and my vest, made sure I had my play list on my phone and off we all went! On the day itself I nervously travelled the 40 minute journey to the race from our hotel.

We travelled to the start with lots of other runners who were taking part in aid of all sorts of charities and for so many different reasons. I was right at the back of the start line, so it was a long wait before I started running, finally I had my ear plugs in, got my high five from Lord Seb Coe and off I went!

The atmosphere was brilliant and the public were really encouraging. So many people had sweets, biscuits and some members of the public even had garden hoses to squirt us with... Somehow I managed to get over the line and the first person I spoke to was my Nan to tell her what I had achieved in my Granddad’s memory!  

I have raised over my £500 target, I am feeling rather smug, and I have managed to finished with a respectable time of 2 hours and 40 minutes! Once my legs have stopped hating me I might consider doing it again!! But I am not going to run for a while....

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