Beach Bootcamp on Saturday morning was an event that I'd been looking forward to for months. It had often crossed my mind while running across the USA just how much I was looking forward to getting on Tynemouth Beach and getting a good Beach Bootcamp under my belt.
Dave Fairlamb had asked me to turn up 15 minutes into the session and I was very pleasantly surprised to receive a nice round of applause as I made my way down the steps onto the beach.
Dave said a few words and then I gave a brief talk to the 70 or so people on the beach. It was a brilliant turnout! I talked about how Run Geordie Run may have just been 1 man running across the USA but behind that was all of the support, the donations and kind wishes that really made the whole thing possible and worthwhile.
Bootcamp resumed for 10 minutes and then we held a Q&A session with Team GB's Olympic and Commonwealth swimmer Chris Cook leading the questions. This was a lot of fun and I spoke of one of the funny things that happened to support driver Carlton and I on the last day. It's not something that I can write about on this blog and it went down well.
Chris Cook has spoken of just how much in awe he is of my run across the USA. I can't get my head around something like that coming from someone of his standing. This guy has won gold medals and is awe of me! That kind of praise won't often get bettered in my opinion.
The Bootcamp came to a close and it was great to talk some more to the participants and have photos taken. It was great to see Team Run Geordie Run's newest member, Beefy, who was being sponsored to lose weight. The company he works for, DH Fuel Services, has already got the sponsorship off to a great start with a £1000 cheque for St Benedict's Hospice.
It was very nice to meet Diane Pringle who had been consistent throughout my run across the USA with, not only her messages of support, but with numerous donations too. Diane, who is now a Beach Bootcamp regular, is fundraising for a mental health charity and has raised a tidy sum with being sponsored to lose weight.
I've got to say a huge thank you to David Fairlamb for putting on such a unique Beach Bootcamp. It was another event that I will remember and treasure.
Finally, thank you to everyone who made a donation at Beach Bootcamp. A grand total of £403 was raised which is absolutely fantastic. Thanks also to the elderly lady who pulled over in her car and donated £12 saying "Were you on the telly last night?". There was a lovely couple too waiting to speak to me on the promenade and their £20 donation was very gratefully received.