A Year of North East Running – Guest Blog

A Year of North East Running – Guest Blog by Jenny Hicken (@GreatNorthMum)

A Year of North East Running!

Late January is the time of year when some of those over-enthusiastic types who started the New Year with the best of keep-fit intentions slowly slide back into the old habits of lazy nights in front of the TV and big portions of comfort food. And who could blame them? It takes some considerable motivation to get up and out of the house to go for a run or get down to the gym for a session on the treadmill when it’s cold and dark and you’ve already got your pyjamas on at 7pm.

One of the best motivators you can have to get your bum in gear is to register yourself for a race – no excuses, no backing out, and no midweek glasses of wine or Friday night takeaways if you want to take it seriously. And you’re genuinely spoiled for choice if you feel like making the commitment.

The Sunderland City 10k, and for the more seasoned runner, the Sunderland City Half Marathon both take place on Sunday 4th May so you could be race ready in just over 3 months if you work better to a tight deadline. Sign up at http://www.sunderlandcity10k.com/.

Alternatively, save yourself for the iconic Blaydon Race on 9th June – the oddly specific and traditional distance of 5.7 miles should be easily achievable by then if you start in earnest now. Due to the customary date of the race it is being held on a Monday evening this year so should be a comfortable running temperature – although any weather scenario is possible these days. Entries open online on 4th February and are anticipated to sell out within the day so don’t delay if you want to claim your number http://www.blaydon-race.com/.

If you’re looking to channel your inner Jessica Ennis or Mo Farah, register now for the Great North 10k being held on Sunday 13th July, and cross the finish line inside Gateshead International Stadium. Having completed this race myself last year, I can vouch for what an amazing experience that is. However, I can also vouch for the fact that the infamous ‘hill’ (and that’s putting it mildly) around the 9k mark will almost, if not completely, break you. But then where would the fun be without a little challenge? http://www.greatrun.org/Events/Event.aspx?id=5

And finally, the Great North Run main ballot is open until 5th February if you fancy taking the plunge and going straight for the half marathon without really considering whether you’ll be able to do it or not. Trust me – you can do it, even if you only currently run for the bus and resent even doing that. There’s plenty of training time between now and 7thSeptember and it will be just the motivation you need to dig out those trainers and get a move on. There are some really useful training plans online if you need a few tips. Enter the ballot here http://www.greatrun.org/Events/Event.aspx?id=1 or grab yourself a charity place and run for a cause that inspires you. You’ll be amazed how much that will spur you on.

Having done the 13.1miles for the first time last year, I’ve already signed up to do it again, this time running for Tiny Lives, the charity supporting the Newcastle Neonatal Service at the Royal Victoria Infirmary. The Special Care Baby Unit at the RVI looks after hundreds of babies from around the North East region every year and can always use the support. If you’d like to sign up for any race and raise some much needed funds for them, get in touch via their website http://www.tinylives.org.uk/.

And of course, if the training gets too much, you can always pay a visit to Sunderland Physiotherapy Clinic or some specialist physiotherapy to treat that niggling injury or a therapeutic sports massage to do away with those aches and pains. Although in my opinion, a Hot Stone or Indian Head Massage wouldn’t go amiss either.

You’ve got to give yourself the odd reward for being so good.

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