A huge upsurge in the sale of gels etc this week.
Yes, it's GREAT NORTH RUN weekend once more. 55000 taking part!!
I'm still amazed by the number of those coming in who will be tackling the 13.1 miles from Newcastle to South Shields who have not exceeded 10 miles in their training and the number for whom the event will be their first race.
It just makes more sense to me to build up the racing distance rather than starting with a half marathon or marathon. I would still prefer to see new runners become comfortable running several 10Ks, bringing down their times as they get stronger than struggling around 13.31 miles or 26.2.
But so many don't seem to regard the shorter events as a real challenge; as if there's no real kudos attached to running say sub 40 for a 10K than saying they've completed a marathon even if large sections have been walked.
Many justify not having at least covered the distance in training by saying "the schedule didn't tell me to" OR
"Oh, I won't be racing; I'm just raising money for charity"
I defy anyone not to react to the racing pace of those they are rubbing shoulders with; particularly a young man when an old wrinkly passing by!
I had hoped to see MO FARAH competing but we are now being told that he
"will be among five London 2012 gold medallists to perform the role of starter at the Bupa Great North Run. Up to 55,000 people are expected to take part in the famous half marathon on 16 September. Farah had been due to compete for the first time but has withdrawn as he has not had time to train for the distance"
I think we would have all accepted that 13.1 miles was not the distance he had been focussing on and as such not been critical if he had been beaten by say a marathon trained specialist.
Shame. It would have been interesting to watch.
THIS WEEK 25 YEARS AGO........I WAS HAVING A RACE BREAK!
September 6th saw a final end to the LEEDS LEISURE SERVICES GRAND PRIX which had begun way back on March 29. It had been a real test fortitude, resolve .....and the ability to stay clear of injury throughout the spring and summer months.
Fortunately I managed to stay injury free, unlike my young "rival" Mr. Convery who missed the last 2 events. His absence at that last event, the KIRKSTALL 10K, gave me the maximum 200 grand Prix points and confirmed me the Grand Prix winner. Can't recall what the prize was but it didn't necessitate hiring an armed guard for a trip to the bank the next day!
I was pleased to have won having completed all 9 events but it had been quite a commitment and meant that I'd not been able to run several other "traditional" races I would normally have run in.
With no race this weekend in 1987 the mileage was back up to 76 miles. 12 runs in the week including the customary Tuesday and Thursday track sessions.
6 x 800 on the Tuesday (2.32 2.33 2.31 2.32 2.32 2.31......how that for consistency!)
16 x 200 on the Thursday ( averaging 33 secs) My first visit to the Keighley track which has been recently refurbished.
This week in 2012 I'll cover less than half that distance.
Perhaps that's where I'm going wrong?