This was by far the biggest race I had run so far, in terms of runner numbers, and this only helped with the excitement.
We arrived into Manchester City Centre from North East Manchester in plenty of time, having use the new tram from Rochdale, it was very easy, not at all busy and got us into town in plenty of time.
As I mentioned in my previous post the information supplied for the event, and the organisation on the day was fantastic.
I was in the white wave, which was the 2nd wave to set off, so the family left me to get a spot along the route, whilst I did the warm up.
It was a perfect day, the sun was shining, crowd were in good spirits. It was moving as we had a silence for the Soldier murdered in Woolwich who was from Manchester originally. Fabrice Muamba started the men’s elite race, raising awareness for heart disease.
I spotted a 50 minute pacer early on as we assembled so edged closer trying to do the maths in my head as to how fast this would be, with my aim to get under 54 minutes, would this be a bit too fast?
As we approached the starting line I remembered we were being filmed live for the BBC, so had a bit of a wave at the cameras, and reminded myself to watch back later and see if I could spot myself.
Then we were off, so focused was I on staying with the 50minute pacer I missed the opportunity of a high five with Greg Rutherford as we passed the start – never mind!
I saw the family not long after the start and I waved and pointed enthusiastically at the pacer I was running near…yeah that didn’t last that long to be honest, it was a bit too fast for me!
The course was nice and easy, but the day was very hot. The supporting crowds along the route were fabulous.
I was feeling good throughout the run, up until the last kilometre when it was starting to get tough, I was conscious of my aim of beating my last PB of 54.31. I was grimacing, but as soon as I saw my family I attempted to put a better face on! As Manchester City Centre approached and I could hear the speakers at the finish so I decided to push on, almost too soon, it was starting to burn. As I crossed the line I check out the main timing clock, then looked at mine, WOO HOO – 52m 34s, a new PB!
I was so pleased, I welled up a bit as I grinned with happiness, then realised how thirsty I was! Everyone was walking through the finishing funnel so slowly and I just wanted a nice cold drink. I grabbed a water and the fantastic goody bag, which included my finishers medal & t-shirt!
I found my family easily in the meeting area outside the Radisson, with the Mother in Law running at me with a foil blanket! I wasn’t that bad! She had managed to also find every freebie being offered in the city, so we now have a garage load of Powerade! Bless here!
Once the results went up on their official site I thought I would see where I came out of all 40,000 odd runners – only position number 6614th! I think that pretty amazing! And even better for my Age & Gender I came in at 523! I was chuffed!
I felt great, the race was amazing, and the atmosphere was fantastic, really looking forward to doing the Great South Run in October!