The Road to My First Marathon in Newcastle



I was just a regular guy, making my way along the Quayside. It was an ordinary day, avoiding pedestrians and pretending to take in the sights. Running was my alone time, a chance to step away from the daily grind. I wasn’t aiming for any athletic feats.

But then, a thought struck me. It might have been the runner’s high, or maybe it was stumbling over that same cobblestone again, but the idea of running a marathon suddenly seemed doable. “Why not?” I wondered. It’s been done by many, so it can’t be too hard, right?

Well, it turns out it’s pretty hard. But in that moment of naive optimism, I envisioned myself at the finish line of the Great North Run, hands in the air, the crowd going wild, feeling like a champion in my own story. Little did I know, that this new goal would lead me into a world of aching muscles, early wake-ups, and a newfound fixation with running shoes. That gave me a real plan, to participate in the Newcastle Marathon.

Here is my story.

start a marathon in Newcastle

Switching from relaxed Quayside runs to serious training felt like trading my comfy shoes for heavy boots. Every run now had a clear aim, not just for pleasure or peace of mind. The Strava 5k was my first real challenge, a measure of my progress. The 10km Night Run was next, a night-time quest that showed I could go further, even when stumbling in the dark.

Starting with these organized runs was enlightening. Crossing each finish line brought relief and joy, showing me I might be made for running. As I collected medals and race numbers, I realized I was no longer running just for fun. I had real goals now, reaching further than ever before.

Training became more serious. I focused on distance, speed, heart rate, and other details I used to ignore. My weekends changed from relaxing to running long distances. These runs were no longer casual; they were steps towards a big goal, both exciting and intimidating.

The more I ran, the more my view changed. Newcastle’s streets and paths were now my training ground, preparing me for the Great North Run. This half marathon would test all I had learned and become. It was a significant step towards an even greater goal I once only dreamed of a full marathon.

This shift from casual running to dedication revealed a new side of me. A side that loved the challenge, the discipline, and the toughness of pushing beyond my limits. My path from the Quayside to the Great North Run start line was a transformation, one run at a time.

run with other competition

The Great North Run transformed my race calendar. It was a colossal challenge, a true test of my mettle as a runner. Training for this half marathon changed everything. My runs became marathons in themselves, my diet was all about fuel, and my social life took a backseat to my training.

As the race neared, I was a bundle of nerves. This was no longer just about reaching the finish line; it was about validating all the sacrifices. The Great North Run was a milestone, a defining moment in my running journey.

Race day was an emotional whirlwind. At the starting line, the atmosphere was electric, charged with the collective energy of thousands. The crowd’s cheers buoyed me as I embarked on the course.

With each mile, I was driven by the support of the spectators and the beauty of the route. The Tyne Bridge, once a familiar backdrop to my runs, stood as a majestic marker of my progress. It wasn’t just the physical distance that I conquered, but also the mental barriers, with determination as my ally.

Crossing the finish line was indescribable. I was a mix of fatigue and triumph. The Great North Run had pushed me to my limits, yet I had triumphed, exceeding my own expectations.

The moment it became a clear goal

finally, I finish the run

That finish line marked a new beginning. The half marathon was a conquered summit, and in its wake, a new challenge emerged: the full marathon. The Great North Run ignited a passion to go further, to scale new heights. The Newcastle Marathon awaited – a new goal that beckoned. My evolution from a casual runner to a marathon hopeful was in full swing, and there was no turning back.

Choosing to run the Newcastle Marathon was a thoughtful decision. It was born from deep contemplation and a bit of euphoria after my last race. I wondered, “I’ve done 13.1 miles; can I handle 26.2?” It was a bold thought, but I set that goal amidst a mix of pride and aspiration.

I began planning with both excitement and caution. I studied training plans carefully, scheduling long runs, speed work, workouts and rest days. The marathon deserved my full attention, and I committed to a training routine that I hoped would lead me to success.

It wasn’t only about getting physically ready. The Newcastle Marathon was a new way to see the city I loved. I started learning the route, taking note of landmarks that would be my mental checkpoints. The Tyne Bridge, a reminder of my past success, was now just the start of a longer quest.

The more I prepared, the more I realized the magnitude of this marathon. It was more than a race; it was proof of my progress and a challenge to push my limits. The Newcastle Marathon was a call to action, a mix of difficulty, determination, and the chance for triumph. The path to the marathon was clear, each step a commitment to face whatever challenges and victories lay ahead.

How did I prepare for It?

how I prepare for marathon

Long runs became the core of my training, each a journey into new realms of endurance and self-questioning. On Saturdays, I’d start running before dawn, filled with resolve and a bit of worry. Each run took me farther, bringing me closer to the marathon and testing my determination.

Speed work brought a stark reminder that stamina alone wouldn’t conquer the marathon. Interval and tempo runs challenged me midweek, pushing me past the easy pace of my longer runs. It was a contest of breath and strength, each one like a short marathon.

Yet, it was the rest days that were the hardest. Learning to rest, to let my muscles heal and grow, taught me patience and trust. Doubts would sneak in on these days, hinting at miles left unrun and limits not yet pushed. But these breaks were as crucial as any run, a needed respite on the path to race day.

I also revamped my approach to eating and drinking, each choice is now a deliberate act to power my training. My diet became as structured as my running plan, a mix of carbs, proteins, and fats, more science than indulgence.

Then there was the gear. Finding the right running shoes became an epic quest, each pair promising comfort and performance for the tough miles ahead. My closet grew with technical gear, chosen for its function whether to manage sweat, shield from weather, or just make me feel like a true runner.

Weeks turned to months, and my life settled into a rhythm of running, eating, sleeping, and repeating. The marathon transformed from a mere event to a way of life, every day a step towards a thrilling yet daunting goal. The Newcastle Marathon was drawing near, and I was advancing towards it, one carefully planned run after another.

And finally, that day arrived

a moments before marathon start

The Newcastle Marathon morning arrived, bright and ideal for a run. I reassured myself, trying to soothe the nervous excitement within. At the start, runners gathered, all eager to tackle the marathon.

We began, charged with anticipation, moving beyond the familiar start line into new territory. The early miles passed quickly, my body moving instinctively while my mind envisioned the path ahead. Newcastle’s landmarks now marked the progress of my marathon quest.

The crowd’s cheers were a constant, their encouragement vital during challenging times. The volunteers were unsung heroes, offering sustenance and support throughout.

A marathon tests the mind as much as the body. Doubts arose, especially when the finish line felt out of reach. But the training, the sacrifices, they all came to fruition here. I tapped into my deepest reserves, fueled by the journey behind me.

The last miles demanded everything I had, a true test of perseverance. And then, the finish line appeared, bringing a wave of mixed emotions. Crossing it, I felt a deep sense of accomplishment, marking the end of one journey and the start of another as a marathon finisher.

After the marathon, I looked up the results. I finished in 3 hours and 57 minutes. It wasn’t a record, but for me, it was huge.

The marathon’s winner had an amazing time. It was impressive. But in a marathon, everyone who finishes is celebrated.

That day, we all shared the victory.

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