The Great North Run…completed
Great North Run – Finish line

Many of you will be aware that LTW contributor Andy Johnson was set to take part in the 2012 Great North Run; Andy has been providing us with the soundtrack to his training…but did it all pay off, did he complete the Great North Run?

Of course he did!! On behalf of everyone at LTW we would like to wish Andy huge congratulations; not only that, check out his very respectable time…then note that he intends to enter the 2013 Manchester Marathon; will certainly need a decent soundtrack to help him through that one – your suggestions please!

Andy has now listed the soundtrack that kept him going throughout the run;

Senses on Fire
Distance – 13.1 Miles (The Great North Run). Time 1 hr 57 mins 27 secs!

So I did it.
I didn’t drink alcohol for a week before the race and actually managed to get some sleep in the last few days (I’m trying not to acknowledge that the two facts might be related).

Woke up pretty fresh on Sunday 16th September and was on the road to Newcastle by 8am. Was surprised how little traffic there was and got parked easily at Heworth to catch the Metro into town. Had to wait a while for a train we could actually squeeze onto but made it to the start in plenty of time. I even got into the spirit of things and joined in the warm up and the 40,000 strong Mexican wave.

Mo Farrar, Kat Copeland and other Olympians were there high-5-ing the crowd as they slowly passed the gate. It took close to 25 minutes just to cross the start line but I was up to pace within a few strides, keeping a close eye on the Garmin.

The conditions couldn’t have been better. A light rain from the start which didn’t get to heavy at any point. I felt cool, calm and steady throughout the whole race. The only real period of anything approaching strain was around 9-11 miles which was a steady uphill stretch but even that was fine as I knew it was close to the finish.

The crowd along the way were great and the final straight to the finish, along the coast was fantastic with thousands there to cheer us on.

What have I learnt? The main thing I guess I’ve come away with is that the training paid off. I had doubts about cooling down through the week to a 1 mile run the day before but I genuinely found the race easy and enjoyable. I cracked a smile a good few times which is not like me (or many other runners to be honest). If I keep my fitness up (I went for a 4kish run today which was tough at first) then I reckon I could shave a fair bit off the time as I still had a good sprint in me for the end.

Next big one? The Manchester Marathon next April.

Soundtrack – Various

I won’t go into detail of each one but this playlist worked pretty well. I deliberately paced it for easy start, highs, lows and times when I thought I’d need a bit of a boost and it didn’t disappoint. The iPod played up a bit at the halfway point but didn’t make a huge difference although I missed hearing The Wedding Present, which was a shame.

Came in to the final straight with a repeat play of Daft Punk but the sound from the crowd drowned it out really. I’ve noted a few memories against the tracks that really hit home.

In the Morning – Graham Coxon
Come on over (Turn me on) – Isobell Campbell and Mark Lanegan
Home – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (running under the flyover shouting with the crowds)
4 A.M – Cherry Ghost (Tyne Bridge!)
Life’s Too Long – Earl Brutus (First upward section – Gateshead – a good ploddy glam-stomp)
Light & Day – The Polyphonic Spree (just the best running music really)
Summer Wine – Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood
Theme from “Which Way Is Up” – Stargard (Still one of my favourite disco tunes and a nice groove to settle into)
Folk Singer – Brendan Benson (Nice bit of crunchy guitar)
Music Is My Radar – Blur (Blur do Can. Didn’t quite work as well as I’d hoped)
You + Me = Love – The Undisputed Truth (Ten minutes or so of funky disco heaven)
Aerodynamic – Daft Punk (remix)
Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death From Above – CSS (nice groove)
Dry The Rain – The Beta Band (the sun didn’t come out but it’s a great record)
Keep On Burning – Edwyn Collins
Julianne – Ben Folds Five (“I met a girl, she looked like Axl Rose” – great lyrics)
Tropicalia – Beck
Suburban War – Arcade Fire (Great track- a bit mellow/morose for this point though)
Little Eyes – Yo La Tengo (continuing on a mellow vein. Could probably have done with some punkier stuff here)
Gravity’s Bringing us Down – Beulah (getting there now)
Senses on Fire – Mercury Rev (from the widely ignored but utterly superb “Snowflake Midnight” album. A real boost at about 9 miles from this)
Add it Up – The Violent Femmes (Ahhh)
Young Scene – Keith Mansfield (The theme from “The Big Match” – brilliantly produced “easy listening” track)
I Can’t Get Next To You – The Temptations (From my favourite period of theirs – Psychedelic Soul! Just great funky grooves)

The iPod stopped at this point. I can’t really remember how long it took before I turned it back on but I was close to the finish when I just bashed the buttons and these came on at the end.

Funky Nassau Pt. 1 – The Beginning of The End (Kind of the blueprint for Jamiroquai’s musical career)
Aerodynamic – Daft Punk – Again. But its Daft Punk so worth it.

Once again, congratulations to Andy…we look forward to your selections in the final build up to Manchester 2013.

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