Our man, young Mr Harrison is embarked upon a bid to run 1000 miles in a bid to both clean up his act but also raise some much needed funds for mental health charity, MIND. During his running, Gareth is having some moments of enlightenment and clarity and he’s sharing them with us in this blog series. All joking aside, its a canny read from a sound lad doing a very worthwhile thing. It would be wonderful if you saw your way clear to dropping a few pennies in Gareth’s JustGiving doings here.
Keep On, Keepin’ On bonny lad.
Friday 18th March – Thursday 24th March
Distance to Date – 330.6 miles
My Derby weekend started on Friday night at my Uncle Dave’s 70th birthday do at Houghton Golf Club. He’s an absolutely tremendous bloke, Dave as is my cousin Chris – both great crack, both love their football and I’ve always really enjoyed their company. Dave was a miner until the pits shut and they are a ‘proper’ North East family. He’s married to my mam’s sister and they were both nervous as owt about the Derby on Sunday…of course you can see where this is going. They’ve both had Sunlun season tickets as long as I can remember but I’d class them in the breed of Mackems that I find it quite enjoyable to have a bit crack about football with – they’ve been going for years, they have a healthy dislike for NUFC whilst never being in my face about it and we spent a good chunk of the night bemoaning not only North East football but also the neglect of the region in general. I had a smashing night, albeit surrounded by Dave’s marra’s who of course were all red and white. I’ve said this before in TF but I hate Chelsea more than I do Sunlun and I don’t have too much of a problem with their ‘proper’ fans – it’s the in-your-face-FTM-stickers of men pissing on a Newcastle shirt on the back of their car arseholes that I fucking detest but let’s face it, we’ve both got ‘em.
Anyway, running wise, I was driving to the do on Friday night (which is fucking torture by the way) and as such fully prepped for a just under 20 mile run on Saturday morning which took me on an extended route along the coast and looping back through the streets of Shields before staggering up my road envisaging it being the Champs d’Elysee in a fortnight’s time. I didn’t stop, which is a bonus and I enjoyed the vast majority of the run, which is another but I’m going to have to take the common consensus which is that if you can run 20 mile in training, you can run a marathon on the day because if the worlds slowest donkey was running along for the remaining six mile with a million quid dangled in a sack off it’s neb for me, there’s no way I could have kept going to collect my booty. It’ll be alreet on the day I’m sure!
I enjoyed an early start for the Derby round my best mate’s flat on Grainger Street (good lad Baz) for a breakfast with a couple of dozen of lads that we go to the match with and had a great time – after weeks of relative abstinence, I enjoyed a proper drink, was pissed by half ten and may or may not have stood downwind of a bit smoke. Great crack. In moderation of course. The match was the usual for a derby – awful, stomach churning nerves, us failing to turn up until thank Christ we got away without getting turned over again. For what it’s worth, I thought we were shite up to the point of one of my least favourite NUFC players EVER (tough competition there) Colback getting hauled off. I can see us both going down.
I went for a run on the Tuesday night with thoughts of the Brussels attacks earlier in the day buzzing around my head and returned home to our lass, who was jumpy about us going to Paris in less than a fortnight with the girls. I booked up for the marathon days before the attacks over there for us all to go over as a holiday and of course, the ‘threat’ of being in the city with hundreds of thousands of people watching and 50-odd thousand running around 26 miles has been a thought ever since. Hand on heart, I can say 100% that I’ve never once considered not going – for a kick off I’m an avowed fatalist but I’m also a firm believer in statistics and the chances of anything ‘happening’ to us are less than when we jump in the car.
It’s a different mindset when you’ve got bairns though of course and as firm as I was in my determination that the utter cunts responsible for these atrocities weren’t going to make me change my plans, we talked until the early hours about what the attacks meant for the trip. I don’t think there is an ‘answer’ to the perverse logic of terrorism but personally, the only real victory I can claim over them is to cross that finishing line, as planned and to sit down in a nice restaurant with my wife, bairns and parents in Paris and get stuck into a great meal and a well earned drink with every bastard sinew of my body aching in triumph. Brussels was sad, so was Ankara, so was Lahore, so were all the countless others but in the end they can never be allowed to defeat and divide us as people.
So, wooooaah a bit of a deep one this week then eh, a nice five mile run round Chester le Street finished it off and I started to really look forward to the marathon itself for the first time.
Thursday 25th March – Friday 31st March
Distance to Date – 344.13 miles
The week started swimmingly with a great nine mile run on Good Friday afternoon after a morning at the farm with the bairns. Beautiful it was aswell, warm, sun on my back and the last longish run under my belt before the big one next weekend. After grafting my nuts off steaming wallpaper off the cunting walls all weekend and realising that we don’t actually live in a modestly sized family home but in actual fact reside in Downton Fucking Abbey with eighty three foot ceilings and the strongest wallpaper paste (insert spunk joke here) I was ready to treat myself to a gentle five mile run on Easter Sunday evening to get some fresh air that wasn’t tainted by scalding steam and probably toxic forty year old SuperSuper Glue.
All fine by Easter Monday afternoon, couple of hours at Beamish with the bairns, wallpaper nearly now finished and after getting them to bed, steeled myself to get it finally finished off for the plasterers arriving on Tuesday morning then POW! By 8pm I started to feel pretty achey and a bit gippy. By 8pm on Wednesday night, 48 hours later, I’d lost just under a stone, managed to ‘expel’ all but my major organs out of every orifice of my body and was left an emaciated gibbering wreck. Fuck, fuck, fuckity fuck, how can this happen the week before the marathon? In the rare moments I wasn’t doubled up in the bog, I was panicking blindly that I wouldn’t be able to get on the plane on Satda, let alone the start line for the race.
Why, oh why did I go to Lau’s on Saturday with our lass and the bairns? What was I thinking? Why did I allow
myself to effectively sniff glue in a self made hammam for four days across the most holy of our holidays? Damn you exhaustion, damn your eyes!
Anyway, I’m writing this on Thursday night and I feel alright. Not brilliant but alright and from where I was a couple of days ago, I’m feeling capable of a marathon world record even allowing for half a dozen ‘Paula Radcliffe’ stops. I’m sure my body isn’t sophisticated enough to ‘get it all out’ knowing that I’m going to be doing a marathon in a couple of days – I’ve just been unfortunate enough to get a bug but thank Christ it didn’t happen a few days later or you might be reading about the world’s most pathetic marathon attempt!
So, time to pack my gear and head off this weekend for the biggest challenge yet this year. I feel like a bairn at Christmas – the adrenaline is already starting to pump, I’m ignoring the forecast that is telling me it’s 20 degrees in Paris. Celsius aswell mind, not the 20 degrees farenheit I’ve been training in for the past three months. It’ll be fine.
Comme ci, comme ca, or was I not listening properly in GCSE French?
Wish me luck and if you do want to sponsor me this week, I’d be absolutely made up – it would be a massive kick up the arse when the ‘wall’ comes to keep me going to the end, in whatever fashion! The Justgiving page is www.justgiving.com/Haz1000 and thanks so much to those of you that have sponsored me already.
Gareth Harrison – You can follow gareth on @truefaith1892
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