Great North Run – a perfect day

From left to right: Mark, Nadia, Patrick, Francesca, Gemma

From left to right: Mark, Nadia, Patrick, Francesca, Gemma

Congratulations to the CAFOD team of runners from Lancaster Diocese who completed the Great North Run in glorious sunshine in the northeast, along with thousands of others, soaking up an amazing atmosphere along the way.  It was a perfect day!

Here are some of their thoughts after the race…..

Best moments of the run?

‘Doing the warm up with thousands of other people on the big screen, a giant Mr Motivator session!  Turning left and just having the ‘home’ straight.  Oh and seeing some CAFOD supporters on top of a bus shelter or something cheering on that last little bit!’  Francesca

‘The early stages in Newcastle with the motivating music over the speakers, passing the crowds near Tyne Bridge – and last stages, crowds and seeing the finishing line.’  Patrick

‘Climbing through the bushes to see the magnitude of the event – a sea of people ready to run for their own different causes.’  Gemma

‘High 5-ing Sting, running under a power wash from the fire-fighters, running over the Tyne Bridge and of course crossing the finish line.’  Rosie


Scariest moment of the run?
‘Seeing people on the side having flaked out… I decided to take it easy from there!’  Gemma

‘Getting a stitch and having to walk at the Millenium Bridge (is that right?) basically the bridge right at the  start and thinking I’d never complete it!’  Francesca

‘Running down the hill at the end – I thought I wasn’t going to be able to stop and run straight into the sea!’   Rosie

‘Mounting kerbs to make way for ambulances.’  Patrick


Gemma even happier than usual after the run!

Gemma even happier than usual after the run!

What do you remember of the atmosphere as you ran?
‘The kids high 5-ing runners the whole way round, meeting runners and helping each other along, reading all the different causes and charities that people were running for and feeling like a hero every time I passed the CAFOD crowds at the side’.  Rosie
‘The vision constantly in front of you of the colours names of all the charities on the running vests. The realization that so many people are in need. The sense of privilege to be part of this. The enormity of it all.’   Patrick
‘Talking to lots of different people – very friendly!’ Francesca

‘Just an incredible sense of solidarity, shared purpose and spirit and the amazingness of people doing such a thing for others.’  Gemma


Your thoughts as you were starting the run?
‘Where’s Sting??’  Gemma

‘Yes!! After all this build up over 6 months we’ve actually started. Great sense of freedom. Quickly followed by “am I going to slow or fast”?  And – what an atmopshere!’  Patrick

‘There were so many people, it was a little overwhelming! And we were all stood on a motorway!!! hehe.’  Rosie

‘What am I letting myself in for?!?!’  Francesca 

Rosie (far right) with the Vince and Gannon families - what a team!

Rosie (far right) with the Vince and Gannon families - what a team!

Your thoughts as you crossed the finish line?

Woop woop :-)!!!!’  Francesca

‘Wow, I’ve done it! Give me water…..and…..can’t I book a taxi to the charity village it seems such a long way off……as legs start to give way.’  Patrick

‘Oooh… look at the Red Arrows!’   Rosie

‘Woohoo!!!’  Gemma

Francesca with Brad - shecouldn't stop smiling!

Francesca with Brad - shecouldn't stop smiling!

Best bits after the run?

  ‘The sandwich, the sit down, having a nice massage and meeting the other CAFOD runners and supporters.’   Rosie

‘Getting to the CAFOD tent and getting the best hug ever from Rosa – and seeing all the lovely faces of people who had given up their day to look after us!’  Gemma

‘The sandwich – I’ve never eaten a sandwich as quickly in my life!’  Francesca

‘Chatting and congratulating random runners at the finishing line, sharing the joys and pains of the journey with them. Then being welcomed by familiar faces in the CAFOD tent and been waited on with endless cups of soooo refreshing tea! Sharing stories with fellow CAFOD runners…and…finally…..a SEAT.’   Patrick


Patrick looking pleased with himself!

Patrick looking pleased with himself!

Final thoughts?

‘Met a girl who was doing it for the 10th time this year, her times ranged from 2 hours to 3 hours (when she’d sprained her ankle the week before so just marched round) and really found it inspiring that she continued to do it all – for others.’  Francesca

‘It didn’t hit me how big an event this was until I started walking up from the centre of Newcastle to the starting line up. Then waiting an hour to start focused the mind about what it was all about. It was all about other peoples needs, people less fortunate than us. It was about being in solidarity with those communities in poverty. Felt privileged to be taking part.’  Patrick

‘It was a great day – it was hot and vibrant and everyone was having a good time. It was a hard run but it was easy to keep going when I remembered I was part of a team of 300 running for CAFOD – racing to end poverty!’   Rosie

‘This was one of, if not the most amazing things I’ve ever been part of. A numinous experience where I felt affirmed in my faith and that thing that’s inside every single person on earth – a desire for good and justice and love. Thank the Lord that there are so, so many people that want to change the world and do massive things and sacrifices for other people whether they know them personally or not. God is in every little thing and in every single one of us!’  Gemma

What incredible commitment and energy from all of our runners.  This one 13 mile run will touch the lives of countless people overseas.  As an active expression of our faith and who we are,  it speaks volumes.  Thank you to all of the runners for being part of this story.  We’re very proud of you all here at CAFOD Lancaster!

A relaxed Rosie with Rosa and Sam

A relaxed Rosie with Rosa and Sam

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