Saturday, August 5

Sports Relief 2

You may remember that I promised to do the Sports Relief mile, and 2 weeks ago I did just that. It was a scorching hot day and we arrived with an hour to spare. First problem was where to park? To my mind it would have been sensible to put some sort of disabled parking on the riverside at Newcastle as it is flat, but we had to park in a car park which was up a hill. Fine for going to the starting point but not for coming back. Anyway as I was parking my car who parked next to me but 100x paralympic gold medalist Tanni Grey-Thompson. She said hello to me and we chatted for about 10 minutes.

The start was on the Newcastle side of the river. There was a row of about 20 loos but I couldn't see a disabled one, not that I have to worry too much about that these days, but that's not the point is it? The start was actually up a hill, which was difficult. Because they didn't start wheelchair participants off first it meant you couldn't get a bit of speed to go up the hill because if you did, you'd end up running into the backs of peoples legs. As you can see by the photos, I'm not exactly exerting myself. Anyway that was the main problem, the course was very undulating. This meant going down you couldn't pick up the speed you wanted to for fear of taking someone's ankles out, so I ended up slowing down and then being unable to get a good speed up for the uphill bits. At one point there was a long slow uphill section over one of the Tyne Bridges. This was a swing bridge which meant in the middle was a gap of about 3 inches I the road. I stopped really abruptly and looked at this was a few seconds. It looked a bit too big to roll over without getting stuck, and I was tired so didn't feel I could 'jump' over it either. In these cases I tend to turn round and reverse over, big wheels first, which is what I did in this case. Justa t the end there was a sharp uphill bit and I just said 'bollocks to this' to myself as it was that bit too steep and I didn't think Iwas going to make it. Anyway a guy comes up behind me and shouts did I want a hand? That was really nice and he gave me a push for about 30 yards or so. Whew made it!
It was a really scorching day and I'm glad I did it early in the day. It was fun, I enjoyed it, I raised some decent funds for a worthy cause and proved to myself I can still be part of things like this.

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