Saturday, 15 May 2010


  On the few occasions when I am in either of the Complete Runner shops I will generally ask customers how their running is going. It's amazing how  frequently they will say that they are training for the Great North Run, usually months away, and ask me in turn if I have ever run the 13.1 race from Newcastle to South Shields.   Not surprisingly they are surprised when I say that I have run over 100 half marathons but never the Great North event.  I explain that I am not prepared to pay the high entry fee when I know that a significant proportion of it goes to bringing over foreign athletes.  I appreciate that these mass participation events take a great deal of money to stage, but the practice of filling up the sharp end  with invited foreigners with all the expense involved has in my humble opinion  been a factor contributing to the relatively poor standards evident in UK mens endurance running. The entry fee for the Great Manchester Run is £35.
  Call me a hypocrite then but when I was offered a FREE entry , thank you Nike!, into the Great Manchester 10K I was quite happy to accept it.  The main incentive being the opportunity to run through the centre of the City and beyond along roads which I covered as a teenager running the 7 miles to school.  It will be good to run the10K tomorrow without fear of being targeted by traffic and heckled from passing buses by classmates! 
 Starting from near Manchester Town hall (pictured above) the  race route will take us past theTheatre Of Dreams, namely Old  Trafford,  home of course of Manchester United,  onto and past the Imperial war Museum with views over to the

LOWRY theatre 
 and Salford Quays....................

before swinging back into the city centre, hopefully with still evident north westerly behind us for the run in. With thousands in the event it will certainly be a contrast to the 100 who contested last week's Salford 5K in nearby Heaton Park.

The  bulky race package  arrived and it informs us that they  are setting runners off in waves , dictated by predicted fiinishing time, from 10.35 a.m.   Colour coded numbers correspond to your wave start.  Orange,  white, blue, green and pink.  I'm in the orange wave fronted by the elite runners, based on a predicted time of 42 minutes.   I have yet to work out how far back to position myself based on last year's results.     I think it's a nationally televised event so ignore those sub 30 minute guys at the front and see if you can spot me wearing the vest that was made up especially in the factory on Wednesday afternoon.
  I've just run the easy 3 as planned and as usual on the day before a race feel less than 100% but to be honest I can't remember many of the 700 or so races I've run when I really felt up for it!   The main thing that is concerning me is the logistics of warm up,  dumping warm up kit etc with thousands running.


  1. good luck with the race tomorrow mate,I'm not racing myself for the same reasons. Hope to see you at the end of the race as i am handing out flyers for the manchester 5k sizzlers

  2. Thanks Steve. For the vast majority tomorrow's 10k will be their only race of the year; so they will shell out £35 not knowing that most club events are less than £10. but then again our club events don't have the "atmosphere" which so many enjoy. The density of the competition will be good but working out logistics of parking, pre and post race support is proving very problematic!