Today I was looking forward to breaking up the day with a gentle 4 mile prior to tomorrow's SALFORD 5K in Heaton Park, Manchester. Ever the pessimist I had donned tights and a Goretex jacket (typical April attire!) but I hadn't expected what was to come. Within minutes freezing, cold rain swept across the fields in torrents. So much for global warming!!
Not so much as an April shower as an April deluge. After 2 miles I had just had enough. I decided that another 20 minutes or so was probably going to do more harm than good and called it a
Tomorrow the weather may be no better as we set off, but set off we will. The MANCHESTER PARKS GRAND PRIX with its 5 races prepaid guarantees a great degree of commitment from tomorrow through until September. Previously featuring a drag UP to Heaton hall, this year the measured course will START at the hall and snake DOWN to the tram station. Easy, peasy!...hopefully.
I'm not sure I would have been so keen if the Grand Prix had involved more races. The PENDLE and BURNLEY Grand Prix takes in 15 races with 9 to count. It encourages versatility with 5 road, 5 trail and 5 fell in the mix but "specialists" can choose to compete in say just 5 road races for which there is a separate category award. It's well thought through and with the price of petrol nowadays may prove more popular than ever, as obviously all the races are in a confined area. Whether you are happy to compete against the same people up to 15 times over the summer is another matter.
1987: LEEDS LEISURE SERVICES GRAND PRIX
At 38 years of age there was no way I was going to be able to match the performances of 25 year old club mate, JOHN CONVERY. Only thought was whether he would commit to all 8 of the events. With a points structure giving 200 for first, 199 for second etc. one race missed would make for a massive loss of points.
As expected John beat me by 42 seconds in the first event, the ROTHWELL 6.5 (33.50 TO 34.32) and scored a second win to my 3rd 3 weeks later in KIPPAX. 400 points then to my 397. But could he keep it up? Could stay loyal to the series or stay loyal to races further afield I'd traditionally competed in?