By the time we got to Newcastle it was getting dark. I never imagined we would be so far behind. Some people would call it bad planning, I call it a charity challenge and who cares?
The support was growing by each run and the South Shields crew were joined by Edwin Wong, Lindsay Walsh and Russell Deane. On our way to Newcastle, Lee and I decided to give it a go. We were unfortunately not going to make the Gateshead leg in time as Saltwell Park had already closed. A quick chat with Anji and we decided to do a double Newcastle parkrun.
The first one went ok. I wasn’t loosing breath because I wasn’t running fast enough for that. I was just tired and my legs were really hurting. I was also getting shooting pains up my back on the 2nd leg, not good at all. They actually made me pull up and grimace. I’m just not used to this but this was the point of the challenge. I wanted to be put in a place I’ve never been before and see if I could come out at the other end.
I had a few tears around the second Newcastle parkrun. I’m not embarrassed to say it. I was hoping that the rain would cover my face though so that the guys didn’t realise! I jogged the remainder of the parkrun, Val can vouch for that. Lee had already finished and I think he finished strong. I just wanted to get home as my head was starting to feel fuzzy. I said a quick thank-you to everyone and that I wasn’t being rude but I had to crack on. I grabbed the top of the gate, the sky spun and I collapsed.
I remember landing hard and then seeing faces above me. I didn’t pass out but I just couldn’t move. My head said I needed to continue but my body just shut down. I physically couldn’t go on. As much as I wanted too, I just couldn’t move. The guys at Newcastle parkrun were great. They wrapped me up as I was shivering and they phoned for an ambulance. They also fed me Jelly Babies, I’ll never be able to look at a packet again and not think of this challenge.