Great North Run 2014 – Post Event Massage

Massage Therapist Rachel Chapman has participated in the Great North Run – without running!

This year I have had the opportunity to provide post event massage following both the Great North Run and the Slate Stinger cycle event in the Lake District. At the Great North Run I provided post-race massage for a large number of runners completing the half marathon for the charity Meningitis Now.

After finishing the race runners returned to the charity village to find the charity they were supporting, with many offering a free sports massage. For me it was a very busy day after the first one finished with over 100 people running for Meningitis Now and many opting to have a massage mainly to help reduce muscle soreness over the next couple of days, but there was an amazing atmosphere and I thoroughly enjoyed the day.

Many sports people have a massage both pre and/or post event whether it is a long race like a marathon, half marathon or triathlon, or after team sports like rugby or football. This could be as part of their routine maintenance, their warm up, to alleviate pre-competition anxiety, to aid recovery between bouts of activity, or to minimise the effects of fatigue and or muscle soreness following the event (Holey and Cook, 2011).

Massage following activity is usually linked to the prevention of muscle soreness and the associated loss of function. If people are unaccustomed to prolonged exercise such as running a marathon if they are not a frequent runner often find that they suffer from delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), normally first felt 12-24 hours post event peaking at about 48 hours, but complete resolution may take a week to 10 days.

Massage has been found to help alleviate the symptoms of DOMS as it is thought to increase blood and lymph flow, decrease oedema and reduce pain. It has been found that if massage is administered 2 hours post event there is a significant reduction in muscle soreness between 24 and 48 hours and continues until resolution of symptoms. Current literature has found that even a 10 minute sports massage consisting of effleurage and petrissage strokes is necessary to have a significant effect (Moraska, 2005; Weerapong et al,).

Rachel Chapman

Massage Therapist



Holey, E & Cook, E (2011). Evidence Based Therapeutic Massage. 3rd ed. London: Elsevier. pp238-239.
Moraska, A. (2005). Sports Massage; A comprehensive review. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 45 (1), 370-380.
Weerapong, P. et al. (2005). The Mechanisms of Massage and. Sports Medicine. 35 (3), 235-256.