Wednesday, 4 August 2010


Having to be in South Manchester for a meeting at 2 p.m. today, I decided to have a change of scene for this week's track session;  using the Longford Park Stadium track in Stretford, the home of Trafford A.C.   Late morning, the facility was seemingly deserted,  even more so than Nelson but a young  man eventually stuck his head out of his office.  I gave him £2 and asked did I have to sign a form as I'd been told I might have to for "Health and Safety".
He said, "No, you know what you're doing don't you?"  I couldn't resist saying , "Yes,  I've been here 1968"
In the June of that year,  I ran for Sale in a 2 mile track team race part of the Manchester Police Sports.
 A popular event back then.  Despite being only 19, I recall being put out having been assigned to the "B" team.  Determined to show I should have been in the "A" team I clung to the tails of some top seniors, going through the first mile in 4.30 falling slightly off their pace in the second to record 9:13.  A time which I recall making me think that mixing it with seniors wouldn't be too intimidating after all. But, sadly this was to be my last race for many months as soon after my pneumothorax occurred  resulting in lung surgery in the September. The track was also venue for our St. Bede's College  (Manchester) "school" sports.  A day when "great expectations"   made for a nervous experience.
I opted for the same rep session as last Wednesday hoping for some improvement. So 5 x 1K.  To help I increased the recovery from 200 to 400 metres.   The huge trees surrounding the track seemed to provide more shelter than the exposed Nelson track and probably contributed to the overall average improvement of 10 seconds.   4.35    4.29    4.27    4.22    4.18

As I was leaving a very familiar face appeared.  Trafford A.C. stalwart, life member NEIL CANHAM. He had arrived to celebrate his 61st birthday by running 39 laps of the track.   39 laps?  Well, reason being that he was working on the theory that after 50, a runner's  performance deteriorates by 2% per year.  So he was going to attempt to run the 39 laps in the same time that it took him to run 50 laps when he was 50!
Hope you managed it, Neil, and happy birthday!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the mention. I managed 39 laps in 1hr 22 min. Nothing spectacular but got to 10k before the wheels came off. Your shoe advice has helped me limp less than I would have done! All the best. Neil