For the first time as a “serious” runner I decided to attempt to enter the Great North Run. The four times I have previously entered was prior to the ballot so if you paid your money you were in. So I sat with my fingers crossed, waiting, until this week I received the e-mail.
As you might have guessed, unfortunately for me, the e-mail was a rejection.
Initially I was annoyed and frustrated but gradually I remembered my other running goals this year and my coaching aspirations too. I was made to feel even better when I had the following testimonials sent to me. The first from Rachel, via e-mail:
“I would like to thank you for helping me discover running, I absolutely love it and I am feeling great for getting a little bit of fitness back after a decade of very minimal exercise. I really appreciate your enthusiasm and positivity – it has done wonders for me!”
And the second, from Caroline, on my running group Facebook page:
“I just wanted to say on here just how great these running sessions are and try to help inspire those who are a little anxious about coming along to just try it. There’ll be no looking back! Until September 2013, I did very little exercise (aside from running around after my own 3 children), but decided that it was finally time to get fit and lose some weight. Initially I started running with a group of friends, doing the Couch25k app, and a few weeks later, we all joined Dan and his running group. Between September and December 2013, I lost just under 3 stone, ran in my first 5 and 10k races, enrolled myself in a triathlon and set my sights on the Oxford Half Marathon 2014. Dan has helped the whole way, with expert tips and training advice, and introducing to us all, a range of different running exercises, working on fitness, speed and stamina. The group works for anyone, whatever level; it is not competitive, but works on everybody going their own pace and working to improve themselves at their own rate. I love running with other people, as it really does help me with motivation and pushes me that much more than I do when I run on my own. Despite the weather, I return home, a much happier, more chilled out person/mum, ready to conquer anything my husband/children throw at me (literally, sometimes!). Thank you Dan and thank you running buddies. We’re doing great! xxx”
And so, rather than write a rant about not getting in to the 2014 Great North Run, I decided to create a tribute to the legend…
And here’s a PDF version of my GNR Tribute.
What are your thoughts on ballot-entry races? Is there a better solution? And is it really just the luck of the draw?