Guest Blogger – Duncan Fisher

We love to hear about your experiences either fundraising for, volunteering for or being part of Heel & Toe Children’s Charity.

This week we have a blog from Duncan Fisher who shares his experience of taking part in the Great North Run 2017 as part of #TeamHT.

Duncan’s Blog

On Sunday the 10th of September 2017 moments after having completed the grueling 13.1 miles of the Great North Run following months of training and fundraising for Heel and Toe, I gingerly walked towards a man holding a loud speaker.  I was well and truly in the pain zone, and the man pronounced: “Well done folks, you got up early on a Sunday morning and came out to South Shields”.  A comedian, apparently.

From there I walked to the Heel and Toe charity tent to say hello to Natalie and the others there.  She took a post-race picture of me, which in hindsight I should really have resisted.  Thankfully, at the tent there was a generous supply of Haribos and Hula Hoops. 


I wasn’t keen to hang around, though, as I was looking forward to a bath and some beer.  However, the walk from the finishing area to South Shields Metro Station was cruel.  Long and knackering for one, but by the time I reached the main drag, I had to walk by the temptations of numerous fast food outlets and drinking establishments.  Yes, I could have stopped, but that would have meant a longer wait to get home, lengthier queues and a delayed recovery. 

The worst part was the false dawn of the “M” of the Morrison’s supermarket, which looks so similar to that of the Tyne and Wear Metro.  After a run like that, the few hundred metres further on to the Metro felt like much more.

The month leading up to the run featured a few ups and downs with my training.  Four weekends before the run I visited friends and family in the Big Smoke, and was unable to avoid the temptations of various craft beers.  I also had ice cream on three separate occasions, including a gorgeous lemon curd gelato at a trendy joint in Brighton.  I didn’t run at all over my five days there, but I said to myself that I was GOING TO BE GOOD on my return to Saltburn-by-the-Sea, where I live.  However, I was tired when I got home after my train journey and successive late nights, so I did allow myself a fish supper from the chipper I can see from my bedroom window.

About ten days before the run proper I got a mild cold, which meant no training and a bit of disruption to my plans.  The Saturday eight days before the race I had a whisky with water for purely medicinal purposes, and this was my last alcoholic drink in advance of the run.  I was pleased at my levels of self-control bearing in mind I went on a first date the Thursday directly before the run, and to a gig the Friday before it. 

I am doing myself a disservice with this talk of gluttony and debauchery, as I was fairly disciplined in training for the run.  For anyone considering taking part in this run or other such events, I would recommend it highly.  Natalie and everyone at Heel and Toe have been super organised and helpful with arranging a place on the run, including sending out lots of useful information about raising funds and approaching the run. 


On a personal level, there are lots of positive reasons to do it: for your own health, fitness and well-being; as a social thing alongside friends and/or colleagues, or as something to put on your CV.  Then of course, the money raised goes to an excellent charity that needs your help now as much as ever.  What are you waiting for?         


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