In order to secure an entry on the day, I arrived quite early for last Sunday's BEAVERBROOKS 10K in Blackpool. As I walked across the Hilton Hotel car park to enter I thought it was unusual to be racing on the Fylde Coast in a race NOT organised by Ron Mc Andrew of fyldecoastrunning. But as chance would have it, Ron was the very first person I met as I reached the basement door of the hotel. He would be marshaling today. He quip was,
"Terry Lonergan doing a fun run!".
certainly many club runners wore alternate vests for the day.
I stuck to that practice on Sunday but times have changed; with no threat of a ban many local runners wore Wesham and Blackpool colours as normal.
However, as an unregistered race, our performances will not appear on Power Of 10 records.
Probably justified as times seemed to have been rounded up/down to the nearest 15 seconds!
According to the results 17 of us crossed the line in exactly 43 minutes. Some deadheat!!
The leading runners were heading back up as we approached the Pleasure Beach and club runners obviously made up the first dozen places or so. But around me I would say the majority were "unattached". Many young men with talent and potential running an occasional race but not in local clubs.
The results show hundreds under 35 took part; yet this is the age group so lacking in "normal" club races. The question is then, how do we get them to join our running clubs?
Over my 50 years of competing, relationships are established with runners, like Ron McAndrew who I first competed against in 1968. Relationships often established actually during the race itself. Not a conversation as you might have when training of course but a bit of race banter and then the inevitable after race post mortem.
Sunday saw little of that as nearly every runner around me was listening to music. Now you might say it was a good thing they couldn't hear me but they cut out a lot of the atmosphere of the event.
The cheering of the holiday makers lining the route, the sounds emitting from the arcades on the Golden Mile, the screams from the Big Dipper on the Pleasure Beach, the clanking of the trams, the cries of the seagulls. And no real rapport with fellow runners; no relationships developed!
However, taking part in mass participation events such as the Beaverbrooks brings home the opposite. Compared to the general running public, we are in fact pretty fit indeed.
In the recent Salford 5K with 106 in it I was nearly half way down the field in 52nd place.
Here with I was in the top 6% of the 2500 who took part.
It was that kind of event. Nice for a change, I suppose.