As the rain continued to fall unabated there was little traffic on the road and we arrived in North Manchester an hour later and with it being a low key race there was just enough time to enter, warm up and no toilet queues! £5 to enter. 100 participants. Quite a contrast to the GNR with 39,000 lining up this morning at over £40 each (?)
I didin't try to "reccy" the course,just staying on the track to warm up. It would all be a "nice surprise" but being told it was one small lap and 2 large laps I knew we would have at least 3 testing hills to overcome at intervals during the race.
No nerves, no pressure for this one. With the track session last Thursday, a 7 miler on Friday and a 7 on Saturday, plus the hills and less than competitive attitude, I knew it would be my slowest of the 131 10ks I've run and it was. So just enjoy it! I told myself.
Along with 9 other SALE HARRIERS I toed the line as the rain still fell. A relaxed start with clubmate Jan Nichols for company around the track. 25 laps would have suited me but it was a tad slippy not helped the "droppings" of geese were obviously frequent visitors to the centre of the track!
Out of the park , down the road , back into park, steep down hill....7.01. Not too bad. Left turn. Steep uphill. Concentrate. Stay upright. Lift knees . Use arms. Mile 2 ...7.41. Flat , downhill. past community service young men, getting soaked tidying up the park. I shout , "you're doing a good job,lads"
"You too mate!", they reply. In broad Mancunian accent. Mile 3 ...6.56. A switchback at 5k, 22 minutes . Those in front race towards us; plenty of slowing runners to go for!
Steep uphill again....8.11 ! starting to pick them off. Mile 5....past the "bad boys" again....6.45. Couldn't get anywhere near that for a single mile on the track on Thursday. Amazing.
Going very well now! One last steep uphill.....7.40.......take another 4 4 on the hill and head for the finish....
Now soaked and getting quite cold, but drag young teammate Cara Kavanagh off for a "cool down". Just in front of her at Salford on good Friday, she has beaten me by 1.5 minutes here. She has run very well today, having lifted her weekly mileage to 50; proving you get out what you put in. Her determined finish shown here.................
won in a very respectable 34.32, whilst the very consistent and versatile F45 ALISON SEDMAN hauled back her much younger Belle Vue Racers' clubmate, Emma Jones to win the ladies race with 42.09. Her best 10K for the year being 39.31.
Did I enjoy it? Well for someone who tends to choose fast, flat courses to race on, I really did. The "relaxed hold back" approach at the start was clearly correct with the hills to follow and there's nothing like reeling in younger, fast starting macho males, is there?!
Poor light for photos but Pat managed quite a few despite her hands going numb. Thanks and well done ,Pat!........