Great North Run Introduction

The Great North Run 2022 is the biggest half marathon in the world.

Over 57,000 runners will descend on Newcastle in September 2022 to run from the centre of town to the coast, providing one of the most important events of the year for the city, and our organisation. 

Dragonfly Cancer Trust is relying on you. We intend this year to be our biggest ever with more than double the number of slots available for runners, and twice the ambition in terms of fundraising. Our charity is expanding across the country and we have a national vision for the future, reaching out to more vulnerable families than ever before. This race will not only provide incredible publicity for our work, but, with the right team, enable us to immediately start helping more families due to the fundraising efforts of our legends. We are aiming high, and intend to hit our target.

In order to do this, we are creating a hub for our runners, supporting them as much as possible. We are going to accompany them every step of the way with bi-weekly blog posts (including training plans, nutrition advice, equipment information and details for the race itself), a dedicated full-time team to help with any queries, and a supercharged running pack to get all our runners in the best possible shape for the race. 

So, you don’t like running. Does anyone? 

Do you start getting flashbacks to PE lessons when you think of jogging? Does picking up the pace to catch the bus remind you of running the annual cross country in the freezing cold? Do you scurry past the treadmill in the gym with your eyes fixed firmly anywhere else? Does the thought of using your legs to move 13 miles give you nightmares? Good. You’re normal. 

Long distance running, despite scientists telling us the opposite, really feels quite unnatural. The idea of going to all that effort in the name of ‘fun’ seems so alien – if you aren’t running away from something scary or towards something amazing then why bother? We’ve all been well and truly put off running by some PE teacher or another by the time we turn 18, so why on earth do I see some lost soul everyday (whether rain or shine, 11:00 at night or 6:00 in the morning) out, alone, running as if they need to? And what’s more, why do 57,000 people every year come from across the country just so they can join a stampede of others, with the only gleaming prize at the end of the race being the promise of a South Shields chippy and sore feet? 

Well, allow us to try to give you a reason. 

Everyone has something to run away from. We all have unhealthy habits, unhelpful routines (thanks to the last two years) or unpleasant memories of hating exercise, and we all walk around with excuses as to why we haven’t gotten back to the gym or why we’ve put on weight recently. Not only is running a great counter to the physical effects of an unhealthy lifestyle, but it is a powerful tool to fight against unhealthy mindsets that get us into those habits in the first place. Running is hard, it’s a challenge, so you should be proud of each and every step you take. A ‘runner’s high’ is very real, it simply comes from having to go through a low to get there. 

Everyone has something amazing to run towards. It could be a new, healthier version of you; it could be the feeling of accomplishment after conquering something difficult; it could be a community of 57,000 amateurs with a great history behind them; it could be a loved one on the finish line; or the thought of having a real impact on the lives of vulnerable people in your community. Whatever it is, everyone has a reason to enter the Great North Run. We can all be better versions of ourselves, and all strive to create better versions of our communities – this is ultimately what the spirit of the Great North Run is all about.

So, you don’t like running? You’re not alone.

That’s why the Great North Run exists: it’s meant to be hard, it’s meant to be a challenge. Friends and family agree to sponsor runners because of this fact – they’re doing something that we naturally don’t want to do ourselves. Therefore, we are setting up this blog in order to support our amazing runners, reminding you of all the good you’re doing for yourself and others when all you can think of is reasons to stop. Also, we are hoping to convince a few of you reading this to set yourself that challenge, to be bold and kind, and to volunteer to run. We hope you will run on behalf of our organisation but failing that, we hope to inspire whoever we can to be a positive force for change in their own life and the lives of their local community. 

We hope to run into you soon.

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