Sunday, 15 May 2011
MANCHESTER 10K....headphones, t-shirts and baggies
Training has gone well since Easter
when I recorded 42.59 in the Salford 10K but with a strong headwind to be fought against on the way out to Old Trafford and Salford Quays plus of course a sardine can full of weaving runners to cope with a revised forecast was that I might be happy to settle for around 21.30 at 5K and then hope to pick in the second half.
As planned I parked easily, well out of town and jogged into the town centre, managing my normal 2 mile warm up. I secreted my warm up gear near Bootle Street Police Station and took the opportunity to ask a passing policeman if they had found my bike which I reported stolen there back in 1961. A totally blank expression until he realised I was only joking. He walked away muttering something about the "nutter on the bus!"
Then the most difficult part of the event...trying to find a gap in the barriers to get onto the course where apparently thousands had been assembled and stood getting pretty cold, some
for over an hour! I eventually managed this and weaved across the mass of runners doing the "mass musical warm up" , broke through on the other side and continued to jog, stride and stretch until 5 minutes before the gun at 10.34. After the introduction to the crowd of the likes of HAILE GEBRSELASSIE , of course.
The first K is as expected. Elbows out and a fight to stay on the feet with bandits coming from behind and cutting us up like boy racers. Club vests are as sparce as the cups in the Arsenal and Chelsea trophy cabinets . No familiar faces. Plenty of headphones, t-shirts and baggy shorts apparent however.
4.18 at 1K so spot on 43.00 pace. So far so good. We hit the wind as we reached the Chester Road but the field spreads and there are now good gaps and running is relatively unimpeded. Good to see clubmate STEVE GAVIN cruise past and forge ahead to record a great time of 40.12.
We swing right past Old Trafford, home of course to Manchester United and pass 5K almost spot on in 21.33. (4.18 4.18 4.17 4.20 4.16 on my watch) Now the fun begins: dozens are dying on the uphill section back past the football ground. It's overtaking time! A 4.13 followed by a 4.19 . There is a danger at this point of settling into the pace of those around but I'm spurred by other fast finishers and rally with a 4.10, a 4.15 (slightly uphill) and charge for the line with a 4.10
So 42.39. A PB 5K for the year of 21.06 for the second half!
Reasonable progess from that Salford 10K and certainly a time I'd have readily
accepted when I jumped off the treadmill in extreme pain on Christmas Eve after less than 2 minutes! Amazing how resilient the body can be whatever the age.
Think I might have to pay for next year's entry however as I was just 5th (of 285) in the age 60-64 age group as opposed to 3rd last year.
No real problems after 7K for the great wee man HAILE; all credit though to GB international CHRIS THOMPSON for giving it a good go.
So that was the GREAT MANCHESTER RUN over for 2011. Now a series of other Manchester races which will be slightly lower profile.....with a few more club vests and fewer headphones!