Split up from the other ‘Daddies’ for today, I tackled the Stockport Trail Half Marathon whilst they did the Stanley Park 10K in Blackpool. Liam and Frankie had ran the Winter Track Marathon in Warrington the day before (I know they’re mad!) and their legs must have been like stone!
I got there at about 8:20 am and allowed about an hour before the start at 9:30. There had been a problem with the race organisers which meant that the Race HQ had to be moved to the Railway Pub at short notice. Fair play to the Railway Pub for offering to help out. Despite this late change, I collected my race chip and number (156) from the upstairs bar and took it back to the car; stopping en-route to pick up an Americano from the mobile coffee shop parked nearby. The race chip was a bit different from ones I’d used before and sort of stuck out from the side but to be honest, was fine and did not present any problems.
I pinned on my number and managed this time to avoid skewering myself with the pins. This has happened on more than one occasion!
I did something on this run I’d never done before; chose to run with some music on. I knew the course was an out and back and that there were no other ‘daddies’ to chat with. Cue some Smiths / New Order and some weird stuff I don’t remember adding to the playlist. I left for the start about 25 minutes before the scheduled off and did about a mile of warm-up.
The start was at Marple Rugby Club and we were wall quite packed-in. The race went off on-time and we immediately turned onto the Middlewood Way (MWW). In the early first mile or two it was very cramped due to lots of people trying to occupy the same 2 metre wide path. Overtaking on either side was not an option as it was very muddy and flanked by two natural water drains. The field soon thinned out and the first 10K to the turn was uneventful but set in some beautiful countryside with some nice views.
I took water at the turn before starting the return up the canal path. Here things got a whole lot worse. Daddies Escape had been running training a week or so earlier and part of the route had taken us through a potholed track which needed all the concentration just to stay upright. The setting was nice though with the smell of coal-fired stoves on the moored barges cooking breakfast for some lucky people on board. The conditions remained tricky for some 7K until the path left the canal and connected us back with the Middlewood Way which left about 2 ½ miles to the finish.
The finish was a welcome sight and it grew larger in my field of vision and I saw the white timing strips on the ground. I crossed the line and collected my medal. The organisers provided ‘Juicy Fuel Cola’ which was really nice, together with a satsuma, banana and some flapjack (Oh, and some Jelly Babies!).
I walked back to the car with Tony Hillier who had ran it to (he runs the SRC from the Hyde Sweatshop on a Monday and Wednesday evening). Luckily, I had an old jacket in the back of the car to cover the drivers seat as I was caked in mud.
I arrived home to find out we needed to go food shopping! D’oh.
I enjoyed the race but it would have been much better to have been racing with the other guys from Daddies Escape. I’ve got the Ron Hill Accrington 10K in two weeks and two weeks later, the Wigan Half Marathon which, thankfully, all the other Daddies will be running too 🙂
Not got the official time yet but my Garmin says 1:49:26 which won’t be too far off. I’ll accept the time given the conditions but I would have been much happier with something around 1:45. We’ve got a recovery run pencilled-in for Tuesday evening which I just realised is Pancake Day!