Please help to give my feet the wings they need to run

BLAISE TAPP: 'Tis the season to be more giving to the lonely

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Forgive me if, in this week’s column, I talk about myself a little bit.

I hope you’ll excuse my self-indulgence. After all, it’s for a good cause.

This time last week I was persuading my weary legs to carry me all 72 steps up to our Lakeside office at North Harbour, having banned myself from taking the lift no matter how high my heels.

The reason for the weariness was because, the day before, me and a good friend had done the Great North Run in Newcastle.

It was fantastic. Every one of the 13.1 miles were filled with people cheering on the runners.

Sure, a lot of them had probably turned out to watch Mo Farah, Haile Gebreselassie and Priscah Jeptoo, but they stayed at the side of the road for another two hours to applaud the rest of us who went past at a slightly slower pace.

It was my first half-marathon, having only run 10 miles before at last year’s Great South Run.

I loved every step of it. Not only did the torrential rain not really appear until after we’d crossed the finish line, but everyone was so friendly.

At around mile five we sang to a lady celebrating her 47th birthday and then for the next half-mile we wished we hadn’t.

People offered us oranges as we ran. They read the names on our race numbers to give us personal support. Even the taxi drivers asked us how we got on afterwards.

I would recommend it to anyone, especially if you’ve never run that distance before. With 54,999 other people taking part, you’ll never be on your own, and the atmosphere will get you through. If you’re anything like me, you’ll cross the line with a huge grin on your face.

This, for me, was the first of three races I’m doing to raise money for The Rowans Hospice in Purbrook.

I have less than a fortnight until the next one, which is the Royal Parks Half Marathon in London.

Then, keeping with the Great Run series of events, it’s back to pounding the streets of Pompey for my second Great South Run. Please give my feet wings, and sponsor me at justgiving.com/emma-judd1.