Amongst the thousands who took part in the Great North Run on Sunday was Wigan Harrier Darren Jackson – in his own words:
Well the visit to the physio (Stansfield Sports Injury Clinic) was an experience, the preparation prior to this weekends event! Those who have been around me the last two months know I’ve been suffering with plantar fasciitis!!! – say no more. The foot was taped in the Wigan colours ready to be displayed over the weekend.
As always I did a Park Run as the warm up the day before and to test the foot. Nevertheless, I was determined to do the GNR regardless of time completed. I decided not to go hard out on the Park Run but get the legs turning with a finishing time 21:19. My compatriot Andrew Berkley also took part, finishing in around 25minutes.
Rest, rest, rest was the objective in readiness for the day to follow, although the foot was sore after the short distance so it was in my mind that the PB would not be achieved over the 13.2 miles – it had to be a training run.
I collected my number on the Saturday and watched the City Games in the sun on the Quayside. The foot was nagging already and I contemplated, only for a short period, whether I should run. Having had to pull out last year due to knee injury the decision was made. I love the GNR and thanks to Pete Riley from the Great Run Team I had the opportunity to take part. Ice, stretching and massage was all that I could do to elevate the soreness.
The time came – do or die. The warm up – the heal was already on fire! I told myself that I had to finish below 1:45 regardless of the pain. At the gun the Garmin switched on and a look briefly to check pace (6:55) at around .5 of a mile. I wished Ewan Thomas good luck and continued to focus and TRY and relax. I did not look again until 10 miles, however, the mental agility had been tested all the way around and concentrating on landing the foot triggers off other niggles – I had to stop at just past 11 miles to stretch the right hamstring – dynamically I was running in a totally different style but although no PB the goal was achievable, having gone through 10mile at 71minutes.
Prior to reaching12 miles there is a decline, which was difficult underfoot, and I had to practically walk down the hill. When reaching 12 miles I wanted to pick up the pace but foot would not allow me to get upon my toes so the maintained pace it had to be. When going through 200 meters I heard that Joe McElderry had just reached the 200 meters.
I was glad to finish and at the end Cain Dingle from Emmerdale had just finished so I congratulated him. The walk to the baggage bus was tough but the walk to meet Andrew and Steven was tougher.
Other than the pain in the foot I really enjoyed the race (as always) but would have loved to have PB’d. My next big outing prior to my knee operation is Chester Marathon. I am going rest the foot with the hope of being able to take part in Chester before a good 10-week rest.