The boss did the Great North Run earlier this month after spending the long hot summer pounding the streets of Lancaster – and I learned two things.
Firstly, 18C sunshine is lovely if you’re standing at the finish line cheering on all the competitors – but sheer hell if you’re running the 13.1 miles from Newcastle to South Shields.
Secondly, and it might sound like something Captain Obvious would say, but the men’s race winner, Sir Mo Farah, is very fast.
What’s that, Britain’s greatest Olympic athlete who did the double double in London and Rio is like greased lightning? Really?
It’s only when you see an elite athlete hurtling past in the flesh that you realise just how freakishly talented they are.
When I saw him, 400m from the finish line, he’d run 13 miles in under an hour on his way to his fifth Great North Run victory. To give you an idea of how fast that feels, next time you’re at the gym push the button on the treadmill until it gets up to 13mph and see how long you can last.
In fact, don’t. After a few seconds your heart will burst out of your chest like the Alien when it made its entrance out of John Hurt, and I’ve got enough going on in my life at the minute without having your death on my conscience as well.
Anyway, the boss made serene progress around the course, completed it in a respectable 2hrs 37mins and raised £960 for the Brain Tumour Research charity.
That’s not quite true. Because of the heat, thousands of runners turned into walkers around the Tyne Bridge (about two miles in) and became trip hazards you had to weave your way around. Also, in the minutes after you cross the line with all the adrenaline pumping around your system and a medal hanging round your neck, is often when first-timers become born again road runners and vow to do it all again next year – like I stupidly did, twice.
The boss had more sense. “I’ve done it once. Never again,” she said. Next summer, God willing, will be spent with her feet up by a pool with a straw in a glass of something nice.