Sunday, 21 February 2010


  Race day. Great North West Half marathon on the Fylde coast where the gaps between snow falling can be as long as Great Britain winning winter Olympic gold medals.   So  whilst we woke up to several inches of overnight snow, (see left)I fully expected that by the time we reached Lancashire it would be disappearing and there would be no evidence of the white snuff on the course.   Not the case!

  Not  very happy bunnies Andy Wiggans and myself as we surveyed the course 45 minutes before the start.  My mind starts thinking that this race is going to be reduced to the level of a fast training run: shifting the emphasis to the Haweswater in two weeks time.  Joining the assembled throng from the front as usual, I slot in a few rows back and then we're away. A cautious first mile on the unwelcome surface but I'm only 3 seconds down on target pace so slide on. The "plan" is to keep all the miles below 7.15.......7.10, 7.10, 7.16, 5 miles.  So it's going pretty well.
A Salford University student from Sale has clocked my Sale Harriers vest and we run shoulder to shoulder for the first lap.  He tells me he is running his first ever race and that his name is ANDY HOLDEN. (Yellow jacket)  I tell him that he shares his name with a very very successful GB international about my age.  We've caught up Gill from Keighley who was having a bad moment.  We climb back up to the middle walk......7.41....and I leave Andy to share notes with a young lady from his neighbouring Trafford who, playing matchmaker, I have introduced him to!  She tells him she's already taken.
7.11 for the 7th mile and  20 seconds down on target.   Another student, WILL HINE, from Lancaster University comes on board at 7 and together we pick off the slowing runners on the second lap.  He tells me he is studying Ethics, Religion and Philosophy.  Not bound  for a great job when he finishes he says but a good lad to go for a few pints with and have a good debate with whilst doing so!   7.21...7.06....7.15....7.15....still going well...we're still going through. Will is on for a PB by several minutes,he appears to be hanging on but his running style belies his strength and he smoothly edges away over the last half mile,  skips up the final slope, turns and sprints away to the finish.   Well done, young man. A student teaching an old dog ....
  But was it ethical to leave me alone to thrash through that 13th mile in 6.42.....was it against your religious beliefs....I could philosophise!
  The charge on the second lap with my young Lancaster student companion brought me back on track for the predicted target time of 95 mins with a time a few seconds slower than Freckleton last summer.   101 done .....a very interesting day!
  Late night confirmed results show that Andy W. was first in the M45s, I was soundly beaten in the M60 group   but managed 2nd. in 94:44.  7.14 mileing average. The students??      Will H. streaked away to 1:32.23.
 A truly metaphysical performance.!   Andrew H. fared less well over the second lap but still achieved a creditable first race time of 1:42.14 whilst Gill Capstick of Keighley, clearly less than 100% on the day persevered extremely well to record 1:40.56.


  1. You must feel lucky that you got a race in!

    My thoughts of doing a speed workout at the Wombwell Five were dashed today. One look out of the window and it was a no go.

    Well done on reaching 101..........half marathons I mean!

  2. Thanks, Antony. I think several races were cancelled today including one at Wrexham and the Trafford 10k. No sympathy for trafford...serves them right for bringing the race forward from March to February and starting their race at 9.30 on a traffic free cource. If they had started at 11.00 like Blackpool they would have had no problems I bet.
    Ron Mc Andrew Gt. North organiser was very concerned at 7 a.m. he said, but by 11 it wasn't too bad.

  3. i WENT TO tRAFFORD!!!!


    Martin B

  4. Hey Terry,

    Cheers for the mention, though I couldn't have done that time without your encouragement. Sorry for leaving you solo for last half mile, but you had me all fired up!

    I'll keep an eye on your blog, perhaps see you again at a future run.


    Will H

  5. I think we were "feeding off" each other young Will. You did well and were right to run away from me. Congratulations on your P.B.