The race itself was hellish and I hated every step. I think it was because there were so many people it was like no race I'd ever ran before. There was no escaping the crowds of any of other runners.
I didn't do a race report as I had planned too, at the time I think it was because I just wanted to get rid of the memories of wanting to cry the whole way around.
Now don't get me wrong I didn't hate the whole thing. I saw some friends along the way. Kay just before I hit the 5k mark and I was so happy to see her I nearly cried happy tears this time. Then I saw Rachel from Life in Geordie Land and she gave me such a boost I was so grateful just to see someone I knew. At mile 11 fellow runner Louise, we had a little chat and I actually stopped wanting to cry for around the 5 minutes we were together.
When I saw the sea at South Shields I honestly can't tell you how absolutely relieved I was. I love being by the sea I find it quite calming and seeing it knowing the end was close was like a weight be lifted from me. But the last mile might have well have been a marathon in itself.
My friend Dave was along this stretch - I ran passed him and so calmly said "Oh hi Dave how are you? Can't wait to finish" and just went past him. I did a lot of my 'Friday night' off road training runs with him so it was so lovely to just see a fellow runner from my club.
Coming down the coast road I knew my sister, father and 2 of my good friends were some where along waiting for the split second they would see me pass and I was so worried I would miss them.
Then at 200 meters to go I just heard my name being screamed like never before. It was them. I threw my arms in the air and shouted I've done it. Then sprinted to the end.
My sister amazingly managed to get this photo as she was taking pictures of the red arrows and just managed to snap me. This photo says it all. I was overwhelmed that I had completed the GNR and ran all the way.
When I crossed the finish line I couldn't wipe the smile off my face I reached for my phone (which was in my flip belt) and texted Samantha from North East Family fun to tell her I had finished and with my time then I called my Mam.
To top the whole day off my beautiful friend Jacquie presented me with my medal and as a lot of my friends were volunteering I was swamped with hugs and my friends telling me how proud they were and lot's of well done, you've done it!
I then went to Minchellas for a mint chocolate chip ice cream where I my Dad got a great photo of me with ice cream all over my face before we walked for 2 miles to the pub in South Shields which was the 'official' meeting point for my club. I had two large Vodkas before we got the bus home where I was given gin, champagne and other alcoholic drinks.
September the 11th was the proudest I have been of myself for such a long time and nothing could have wiped the smile from my face. I ran in memory of my Uncle and raised a lot of money for St Cuthbert's hospice.
Anyway this is the story behind my photo of the year. It is rather vain as it is just me running along the coast road but I will keep it forever as I don't think I'll ever run the GNR again....or at least not until the memories fade of this years.
My Favourite Photo of 2016