HARTLEPOOL Mail journalist Chris Cordner tackled the Miles for Men run for the first time - and declared: “It was the best run I’ve ever done in terms of atmosphere.”
The Mail’s head of features completed the five kilometre run in just over 32 minutes and loved it.
Here’s his report.
I HAVE tackled races all over the North-East, from Bamburgh to Middlesbrough.
There are many fantastic runs in our part of the world, but none of them matched the atmosphere of this fantastic event.
There was a cameraderie, a family spirit and a goodwill feeling to the whole event that you rarely find at any occasion.
And the noise as the runners set off was quite simply, incredible.
It was 1pm when the race started and 900 runners gradually got to grips with the searing sun and seafront heat.
My own start was slightly slower than I’d wanted. I just couldn’t get past the first fancy dress character I encountered that day - the Incredible Hulk.
Eventually, though, I left him behind and I was on my way - trying to catch a group of judo exponents and a couple of superheroes.
To be honest, it didn’t matter who was overtaking who. The point was, thousands of pounds was being raised for cancer research.
There were dads with sons on their shoulders, granddads running alongside their younger generations, playground pals feeling the buzz of running together.
As we neared the middle of Seaton Carew, the crowds built and they all stood to applaud as we went by.
I’m not sure if the clapping was for our running exploits or the fact that none of us stopped for ice cream or a carton of fish and chips.
By half way, I was sweating buckets as the sun was blazing down, without a cloud on the sky - yet still the applause and the good natured humour kept me going.
“I thought we were just going to the bus stop and back,” said one runner.
“Are we there yet?” asked another after 500 yards.
No we weren’t - but every step of the way was inspirational - and just when I thought I was going to have to stop, I could hear the road of the huge crowd at the finishing line in the distance.
It was the spur I needed to keep going, and I got there in around 32 minutes.
I was shattered, sweating profusely and dehydrated - and I had loved every last minute of it.
Well done Michael Day and all the Miles for Men team.
Well done The Domes for playing host to a great event.
And well done to the people of Seaton Carew. You made the whole day incredible.