Monday, 9 July 2012


It's back to Manchester tomorrow  for the 4th of 5 events in the MANCHESTER PARKS GRAND PRIX series.  Hosted by Belle Vue Racers the DEBDALE PARK (Eddie Cheetham Memorial ) 7K race is a  pretty low key event of 2 laps; mildly undulating on tarmac and potholed trail.
  I'm committed to the series, great value at 5 races for £25(!), so need attendance is mandatory but in fact the 4.3 miles distance should be just about right to test current fitness after 3 weeks of ticking over with mileage 50% of my yearly average.
 Unlike the waterlogged Platt Fields 10K it'll be a 100% effort tomorrow.  It would be good to see a return to racing speed around the 7 mins per mile point but not having been within a minute of that pace for a month  the injection of adrenalin will have to be  a big one!


  Manchester is noted for rain but contrary to yesterday's forecast it failed to materialise and 125
runners enjoyed (or endured) a dry,if very humid, morning. Apparently it was a bit too sticky for many but personally I welcome wearing just one layer for a change.

 The plan to stay firmly in touch with those of similar ranking fall apart almost immediately as despite me putting in a 6.55 opening mile I found myself totally isolated (ref. video).  A large gap in front and under no threat from behind.  One of the drawbacks of low key, low participation races with a great breadth of standards.
 As I swing back up the rough trail for the second lap  I've reconciled myself to just one grand prix point and my main motivation becomes trying to get near to last year's time.  But the hill and the humidity seemed to be taking a toll on those in the distance and the gap to them is reducing......very quickly.  I catch up to Jake S. a young fit looking Manchester Frontrunner but he responds only momentarily to my encouragement and I drive on to catch teammate Jackie Cordingley which I do at the 3 mile point.  I consider running in with her but decide that she is not enjoying the morning and won't thank me for pushing her on.  I drive on alone.

 As we turn back into the park my M60 "rival" appears to be suffering as much as Jackie and I'm within touching distance as we reach the last small incline.  It's up on the toes for once and straight by; holding on for the last 200 metres to stay 5 seconds ahead.  2 points in the bag.
 Post race comments were "you really came through on that second lap" "you need to start faster, Terry!"  but  my garmin splits suggest that several others set off more at 5K pace.
 My mile splits were............6.55  7.07  7.01 6.53 to the 4 mile point.
  Timewise,  25 seconds slower than last year so all things considered, acceptable.  Aim of 2nd M60 grand prix achieved , 3rd overall.  49th of 125 who finished.
  It was double victory win  for the club, Sale Harriers, with club mates ROB FLANNERY (24:21) (pictured above)
and LOUISE WHITTAKER (26:27)enjoying victory.

 It was also good to see RON HILL winning his M70 age group running 37:29.  As brand competitors in the supply of club we stood chatting at the presentation and I pointed to the Wasp logo on the back of the vest on a local runner. His comment was immediate and to the point..
"yes, it's stings doesn't it!
  (Thanks to clubmate Frank Cordingley for these photos)

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