Two members of the Hart Biologicals team have gone the distance and completed the Great North Run in spite of injuries, to raise funds for causes close to their hearts.
Shelley James and Adam Blakelock competed in the world-renowned half marathon on Sunday 10th September and have raised over £290 and £400 respectively for charities the pair hold dear.
Adam raised money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Shelley raised money for the blood disorder charity, Anthony Nolan.
During their months long training regime, the pair picked up injuries that threatened to affect their success. Adam suffered from shin splints, which meant he had to rest and Shelley was affected by tendonitis in her knee. She said: “It got quite bad actually. I had to go see a physiotherapist and I thought I might have to drop out at one point. I was devastated.
“I was told that 10 miles was my limit. Going into the half marathon I was unbelievably nervous because I had an extra three miles to run that I hadn’t done before.
“I didn’t know what to expect. On the morning of the race I was trying to eat a jam sandwich and just couldn’t manage it because of nerves.
“The community spirit around the Great North Run is incredible. There are people on the side of the road cheering you on and since you have your name on your bib you can hear a lot of people shouting specifically for you. It’s so motivational.
This year over 57,000 runners participated in the 13.1-mile half marathon between Newcastle and South Shields. Victory went to Mo Farah who became the first person to win the event four times consecutively.
“On the day it took around 20 minutes to cross the start line. Adam and I were in different groups though. He was ahead of me at the beginning because runners are separated depending on the time you think you’ll finish in.”
It was at the mid point of the race when things got difficult for the pair. Adam said: “Half way through I was in agony. I usually set off fairly quickly when running but I had to keep it steady so I could keep going.
“There are people called Duracell Bunnies running the race who help you keep your pace. They wear bunny ears and have a flag saying what time they expect to finish in. I stuck with one of them to help me determine what was right for me.”
Once over the finish line, Shelley and Adam rewarded themselves with an ice-cold pick-me-up. Shelley said: “After the race, I was done. I couldn’t physically move another inch. I had a Stella and was out for the count.”
Adam, continued: “I headed straight to the beer tent for a well earned drink and it didn’t last long at all.”
When asked about plans for further runs Shelley said: “I think I’ll drop down to 10K now. I enjoy running as it’s therapeutic to get out for an hour but the Great North Run was just too much for me and I’m just proud I can say I’ve done it.”
Adam was more enthusiastic about the prospect of another half marathon, saying: “I’m planning on doing it again. This run was my third event I’ve took part in so far. I previously ran the Kielder half marathon and another in Northumberland. I’m ready for next year and think I’ll take more of an active role in celebrating it. I beat my personal best of 1 hour 42 minutes this year so next year I’ll take it easier and get involved with everyone cheering me on along the way.”