Great North Run

Great North Run

Hi all, This time next week I will be making my way to the start line for the Great North Run. I have trained and built up my distance by walking almost every day in all weathers since my place was confirmed on January 9th. I have still never walked the full 13.1 miles, but having managed 11 miles a few weeks ago I think I will be OK on the day. I cannot run and need 6LPM oxygen to walk at a decent pace, so I may be one of the last to finish but that's OK. I am doing this not for athletic acheivement but to help raise awareness of COPD. I have had a T.Shirt printed with 'COPD The Fight For Breath' to get the basic message across and of course wearing my oxygen will make it pretty obvious what COPD is about . I have had ribbons printed up with names of people from around the world whose lives have been taken prematurely by COPD and these will be hanging from my oxygen backpack, wrists and anywhere else I can fit them. I am also raising money for the BLF, they have been a great support, liaising with the Great North Run organisers who initially had reservations about the oxygen 'logisitics' (i will need 'refuelling' along the way). I will be happy to fall into the BLF hospitality tent at the end of the race for a massge and a cuppa!

I am going to try and add a pic or two but when I tried the other day I couldn't do it :( If it doesn't work this time I will post a few pics later in seperate posts... The race will be televised next Sunday - in the morning they will show the top athlete runners and wheelchair race - and I think its around tea time when they show us 'ordinary folk' and the ones in fancy dress etc. I doubt you will see me among the 57,000 throng, but I will be there somewhere :) Wish me luck .. I need it!! Thanks, Vanessa :)

34 Replies

  • Best of luck! You are very brave.

  • Best of luck, your determination is inspiring xx

  • Amazing achievement to have trained in all weathers and for the thought of raising awareness of COPD

    Do you have a donation website such as Just Giving. Best of luck for the run

  • Good Luck Vanessa, I will be cheering you on from my armchair! Seriously though I am not only impressed but determined to increase my fitness level. Xris x

  • Hi Knitter - yes I do have a virgingiving page ~ I will put it up as it explains why I am doing this too, but please folks don't feel you have to give ~ I am well aware that many of us have to run a tight ship to make ends meet x

  • Good luck you're very brave to attempt this

  • Loads of admiration. You go girl. Love Margaret x

  • It is a daunting task and your determination is awesome. I wish you success.

  • You are amazing, I hope it goes smoothly for you.

    take care

    polly xx

  • Hi, Vanessa, what determination you have, you are an inspiration to us all. I know I should exercise more, but I just can't get the motivation. Must try harder !!

    I wish you all the luck in the world, please let us know how you get on.

    If you put a link to your donation page, I will happily make a small contribution.

    Best wishes,

    Christine. XXX

  • Thanks Christine - I did put the link somewhere further back but here it is :

  • Ah, must have missed it, got it now and done it, not a lot, but 'every little helps, as the old woman said, as she tiddled in the sea! ' ( an old saying my Mum used to say.) Hope it doesn't offend anyone.

    Best of best wishes,


  • Thank you Christine x

  • All the best to you.

    Your determination will help carry you along.

    Take care


    ☺ 🏃

  • Good luck. You are one inspiring lady


  • You are a brave lady and if I had a hat I would take it off to you.

    Dozy xx 😀 🐀

  • Best of luck.I wish I could think of walking that distance.

  • How wonderful,the best of luck & breath! What an inspiration xxx

  • Very very best of luck ! :)

  • Absolutely brilliant. I am gonna try and run the Great South Run5K next month. I have been running since July. Good on you wish you the best. I'm sure you will do it. Let us know how your getting on. I'm sure we will all be cheering you on xxHH

  • That's great 'HH' ! I would add that I won't be running - just walking as fast as I can! Keep us all updated won't you :)

  • I'm sure I will be having a few short walk breaks too! At least we are having a go xxHH

  • Good luck Vanessa hope the weather is kind to you

  • Wishing you all the luck in the world Vanessa. Take care. xxx

  • Good luck Vanessa, very brave thing to do. xx

  • Good Luck Vanessa. I really am in awe of you. I also have severe COPD and using Oxygen 24/7 and I know there is no way I could even attempt what you are doing.

    In fact I usually have to use my mobility scooter if travelling far.

    Enjoy the Great North Run. I will be watching it on TV.

    Thérèse xxx

  • Just donated a small amount for you Vanessa. hopefully the BLF will get a lovely sum from you.


  • Thank you Therese :)

  • Good luck vanessa

  • Vanessa I take my hat off to you.

    I did a midnight walk a couple of years back and it was very hard and it was only 5 miles.......

    So you go girl. Let us know how you did.

    Etch45. xx

  • Good walking, Vanessa. Hope you have nice weather for it.


  • Awesome Van - I was thinking about your plan to do this a few days ago when i saw on your blog that you weren't well. But here you are and what you are doing is SO inspirational - extraordinary achievement training to this level. Its certainly making me want to walk further than i usually manage (1 - 2 miles) and Im getting out my Walks books to get me going. That's what a project like yours does - inspire people!

    Will be watching on sunday and wishing you all the luck in the world.

    Sending love xxx jean :) :)

  • Thanks Jean ~ keep in mind that prior to this year the best I had done was the 5k (3 miles) on a level path, and that took 2-3 years to build up to doing. Have found now that I can go on all day (well not quite ;) ) so long as I stop for a brief time each time I get SOB. Still worried that I won't be able to keep ahead of the sweeper car that brings up the rear of the race at a speed of 17 minutes per mile ~ but I willl still complete the course even if I have to finish it 'unofficially' on the pavements. Of course I am aiming to stay the course, cross the finish line in time and get my medal but that is secondary. Whatever happens their will be huge crowds and this is one more opportunity to get those 4 letters ~ COPD~ into the public consciousness. Re your walks, I found spring/autumn the best time weatherwise. Park or canal/river walks are probably your best bet in a big city - not just for finding flat pathways but the air should be a tad better and it's realxing and enjoyable. I used to 'bench surf' - still do after an exacerbation when it all seems like a struggle again ~ just find a pathway walk that has benches every so often along the way, walk from bench to bench, sit for just a minute or two and contemplate the scenery, then up and on to the next bench. After a week or two see if you can do every other bench and so on ;)

    Main thing is to enjoy it of course. Didn't mean to lecture BTW, just explaining my 'method' ;) Would just add I feel really guilty re not keeping up with you, Peege and Sohara - I seem to have spent the year running round like a headless chicken. I have 2nd COPD summit coming up end of October - after that I hope to catch up with myself and with everyone else. Keep well Jean and pass my love on to the Peege and Sohara, Love Van xx

  • Good Luck!

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